Raped was the sixth episode of Season 4 of the Quantum Leap TV series, also the 59th overall episode. Directed by Michael Zinberg, the episode, which was written by Beverly Bridges, originally aired on NBC-TV on October 30, 1991.
Sam leaps into a rape victim and must testify against the attacker who is an outstanding member of the community.
June 20, 1980 - Sam leaps into Katie McBain (leapee played by Cheryl Pollak) at the hospital just as the staff finish performing tests on her. Sam, not entirely aware of what's going on but finding himself in the hospital and facing Officer Shumway (Eugene Lee), is dismayed to find he's leapt into a woman says ‘not again’ leading to Shumway asking if Katie had been raped before. Sam is shocked at having leapt into a rape victim and initially can't respond, but fortunately, Katie's sister Libby has all the answers. A boy Katie had gone out with a few times, Kevin Wentworth (Matthew Sheehan), raped her. Unfortunately, he is the town's golden boy and so people are reluctant to believe her. Sam concludes he must be there to press charges and is determined to win the case. Kevin shows up at the hospital looking sincere and trying to talk to Sam, claiming he doesn't know what happened but Sam won't have anything to do with him.
Katie's parents are horrified and her father Jim (Arthur Rosenberg) angrily demands to know if she tried to get away but her mother and sister calm him down. Libby (Amy Ryan) the goes up to see Sam and tries to talk her out of pressing charges. She says that Katie had always been a bit of a tease and that combined with the fact that she was dating the local hero at the time means that nothing is likely to come out of it. Al finally arrives then and Sam gets rid of Libby by pleading tiredness.
Al says he took so long because Katie was completely traumatized and unresponsive and so Verbena is in with her. He says that Sam is there to charge Kevin with rape (something that never happened in the original timeline) and then he will probably leap. Sam is worried about testifying to something that never happened to him but Al can't help him there. Al reveals that ten years in the future Kevin's wife divorces him and charges him with emotional abuse and that his third wife charged him with emotional abuse for singing Volare in his sleep.
The next morning Sam goes down to face ADA Nancy Hudson (Penny Peyser) to try to convince her to take the case. Hudson is initially disinterested in the file but then Shumway calls Katie in and Hudson has a harder time saying no to Katie in person. Apparently the DA's office got burned on the last rape case they tried and Hudson is far from optimistic. She warns that if Katie said yes at all, even if she changed her mind then it is not illegal anymore but she agrees to meet with Sam alone after lunch.
Sam goes into a restaurant to meet Katie's family for lunch and it goes silent the moment they see him. Katie's parents are hiding in the back and they show Sam how a piece about the rape skewering Katie and not mentioning Kevin at all was published in the paper. Katie's mother reluctantly supports Sam but her father clearly no longer does because of how embarrassing being shunned over this is. Sam excuses himself to the restroom and two boys follow him. They've come on behalf of Kevin trying to get her to drop the charges. They say that everyone knows that Kevin wouldn't rape her and Kevin has been telling people she's claiming this to spite him because of Kevin's new engagement to his ex-girlfriend Paula Fletcher (Liz Vassey).
In the bathroom, Al tells Sam that the articles crucifying Katie are only just beginning. He posits that Katie was raped but that it was not by Kevin but by the man that picked her up after she left Kevin and took her to the hospital. Katie never would have seen his face and so therefore could only charge Kevin. Since Katie herself claims that it was Kevin, Sam – though bothered by Al's alternate explanation – sticks with Kevin as the rapist. In Hudson's office, the ADA is hard on Sam because every rape case where the charges don't stick only makes it easier for the next rapist. She eventually agrees to take the case but warns that it will be terrible for Sam and threatens to drop the case if she catches him in a lie. Sam and Al expect Sam to leap then but he doesn't.
Back at Katie's house, her father has come around but now her mother wishes she had never gone to the police. The phone rings and everyone tells Sam not to get it but he does and it's something nasty about the rape. The deacon at their church called and said that so many parents complained that they want Katie to stop teaching Sunday School. Sam is frustrated and afraid to testify since he doesn't know what happened but Al said that Katie is still catatonic. However Al manages to get a break when Ziggy discovers that Katie started seeing a therapist a few months later, and goes off to try and get into Katie's therapist's files to get the information that he needs. Kevin comes by the house, still denying that he raped her, and tries to play on the nostalgia of past friendship, sympathy for what he and Paula are going through because of the impending trial, and bribe her with expensive jewelry.
At the trial, over many objections by the prosecution Paula testifies that she did have an argument with Kevin the night of the murder but it did not turn violent. The prosecution makes wildly inappropriate remarks about how absurd it would be for Kevin to rape plain Katie when he could have consensual sex with attractive Paula. Kevin on the witness stand is charming and affable, playing the confused and simple wronged man to perfection. He claims that he fought with Paula about her continued friendship with an ex and so called Katie to make her jealous. After they had consensual sex, Katie told him she didn't want him seeing anyone else and Kevin told her he wouldn't see her again because he was nearly engaged to Paula. He says that's when Katie ran from the car and she fell. He also says that they had consensual sex on the first two dates, causing an uproar. Hudson asks Sam if it's true, and he is unable to deny it when Al can't find the information.
Sam is called to the stand and to stall for time, Sam pretends to faint so court is adjourned until the next morning. Katie's mother tries to comfort her but admits that she never thought she'd be in this position and doesn't know what to say like all those TV moms would. When she leaves, Sam tells Al that he can't testify if he doesn't know what exactly what happened, so he needs Katie to be in the Imaging Chamber testifying. However it would take too long to have Sam repeat after Al as he'd be repeating after Katie for every answer. Therefore, Al and Ziggy have twelve hours to come up with a way for Sam to hear her directly.
It's time to testify and Al and Katie are not there. Fortunately, just as Sam is swearing the oath, Katie and Al appear. Katie gives a stirring and teary testimony but ultimately it is not enough and a beaming Kevin leaves the courtroom, congratulated by his lawyer. Katie's mom wants to leave town but Sam refuses to run. Hudson reveals that the reason she was so hard on Sam and only wants to take rape cases she thinks she can win is because twelve years ago she was raped and the man was never convicted so she takes losing especially hard.
That night, Sam is sitting on the swing and trying to brainstorm with Al what he is still doing there. Al is just as confused, as in the original history Katie left town soon after the rape and never returned, even for her father's funeral years later. Kevin arrives, very different from the wronged ex-boyfriend he appeared to be in court. He is angry that he had to go through the trial, revealing that he did indeed rape Katie. He punches Sam to the ground and tries to rape 'Katie' again but Sam, now knowing why he's there, beats the living crap out on him on Katie's behalf. Katie's parents, hearing the noise, come outside and then call the police. Having helped Katie regain her self-confidence and knowing that this time that Kevin—now having paid the price for his actions, more severe than any prison sentence—will never again be a danger to her or any other women, Sam leaps.
The Science of Leaping
In "Shock Theater," Dr. Verbena Beeks (Candy Ann Brown) had been unable to communicate with Sam while in the Imaging Chamber. They could see each other, but Sam couldn't hear Dr. Beeks. In this episode, a breakthrough is made so that Sam can hear Katie when she's brought into the Imaging Chamber. The need for Katie to enter the Chamber is so that Sam can testify under oath accurately and honestly as Katie. Sam wouldn't be able to tell the events of the night himself since he wasn't there. But with Katie in the chamber, Sam simply recites the words that Katie says.
- This episode marks a rare instance of a leapee's actor being credited with the main guest stars.
Errors in Episode Description
In The Quantum Leap Book, written by Louis Chunovic, the book claims that Katie's last name is O'Donoughue rather than McBain. It also claims that "Kevin Wentworth (the guy who raped Katie) is convicted but released on his recognizance to prepare his appeal. . . . Al reports that Wentworth gets the maximum sentence and that Katie recovers and becomes a D.A." None of this happens in the final episode. Warning: Spoilers ahead. In the episode as aired, Sam is still unsuccessful as Katie to win the case, leaving Sam wondering why he was there at all. However, Wentworth then attempts to rape Katie again, but Sam, with his own strength, pushes Wentworth back and beats the stuffing out of Wentworth, realizing that this is what he was here to do: to prevent Wentworth from trying to rape Katie (or anyone else) ever again. After Wentworth is beaten to the ground, the rest of the family comes out and sees what happens, calling the police. The pride in the family name has been restored, with Sam saying to the dad, "After all, I am a McBain." Sam then leaps without Al mentioning what happened to Katie or Kevin after that, but presumably her future is a good and safe one, while Kevin and his family are presumably disgraced after his true character is exposed.