or


[05/26/11 - 10:19 AM]
"Sex Crimes Unit," An Unprecedented Look at the First Division in the U.S. Dedicated to Sexual Assaults, Debuts June 20, Exclusively on HBO
Directed by Lisa F. Jackson, the film takes a look inside this division of the New York District Attorney's office.

[via press release from HBO]

"SEX CRIMES UNIT," AN UNPRECEDENTED LOOK AT THE FIRST DIVISION IN THE U.S. DEDICATED TO SEXUAL ASSAULTS, DEBUTS JUNE 20, EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO

Film Chronicles Resolution Of 16-Year-Old Rape Case

The statistics are chilling. A sexual assault occurs every two minutes in the U.S. One in six women in America will be the target of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. And 40% of rapes go unreported. While many victims of sexual assault try to forget their attacks, there is a dedicated group of men and women working to bring the perpetrators to justice for the ones who come forward.

Directed by Lisa F. Jackson (HBO's "The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo") SEX CRIMES UNIT takes a look inside this division of the New York District Attorney's office, which was the first of its kind in the nation. Enjoying unprecedented behind-the-scenes access, the film follows attorneys as they evaluate cases, track down evidence and witnesses, and argue cases in court before a jury. Debuting MONDAY, JUNE 20 (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO, the film also chronicles the resolution of a 16-year-old rape case.

Other HBO playdates: June 23 (1:30 p.m.), 25 (1:00 p.m.) and 29 (11:15 a.m.), and July 3 (4:30 p.m.) and 8 (4:00 p.m.)

HBO2 playdates: June 22 (8:00 p.m.) and July 23 (5:00 p.m.)

HBO Documentary Films presents another weekly series this summer, debuting a provocative new special every Monday from June 6 through Aug. 15. Other June films include: "Bobby Fischer Against the World" (June 6); "A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt" (June 13); and "Hot Coffee" (June 27).

Forty years ago, New York State law required corroboration of every material element of a victim's account of her sexual assault. Sexual histories were fair game for defense attorneys. Marital rape was not considered a crime and, unlike other violent crimes, rape was subject to a strict statute of limitations.

In 1974, Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau authorized the formation of the first Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit. He explains, "When I came in, there was one person in the Sex Crimes Unit, and now there are 53 people handling sex crimes cases." Morgenthau and Linda Fairstein, the unit's first chief, initially struggled to overcome outdated laws and fight for victims' rights. "We were teaching ourselves how to do this, because there was no model for this work anywhere in America," notes Fairstein.

Lisa Friel, current chief of the Sex Crimes Unit, oversees 40 senior assistant DAs with more than 300 pending cases on any given day. SEX CRIMES UNIT follows the day-to-day process as Friel is debriefed by and strategizes with ADAs on their cases. Among their shocking stories are a horrifying nightclub abduction caught on surveillance tape, a livery cab driver turned sexual predator and an alleged date-rape case derailed by surprising DNA results.

The film tracks deputy chief Coleen Balber over seven months as she prosecutes the difficult case of a rape victim who was also a prostitute, showing how she and her team build evidence, visit the crime scene and prepare the victim and other witnesses for a challenging trial.

SEX CRIMES UNIT also tells the story of Natasha Alexenko, a young woman who was attacked while entering her Manhattan apartment building and raped at gunpoint in 1993. She survived, but her assailant escaped.

The Alexenko case was one of the first to be taken on by the Sex Crimes Unit's cold case division, which was formed in 2000 by assistant district attorneys Melissa Mourges and Martha Bashford under Morgenthau's direction. One of their advances was the "John Doe" indictment, which meant that in the absence of a suspect, a criminal's DNA could be indicted, thus stopping the clock on the statute of limitations.

Almost a decade after Alexenko's attack, with the case nine months from expiration, the cold case unit reopened the investigation. The DNA in her rape kit was analyzed and entered into CODIS, the national DNA database. Four years later, the DNA profile produced a hit, linking it to a suspect and finally giving Alexenko her day in court. She almost fainted when she took the stand and faced her attacker in the courtroom, but returned to testify. He was ultimately convicted and given a maximum release date of 2057.

"In making SEX CRIMES UNIT, I had the great privilege of actually being inside the criminal justice system, observing first-hand the fierce dedication of the men and women whose goal is to deliver justice," says Jackson. "However, what was most surprising was that although they were tenacious and compassionate and laser-focused, I was able to capture their true humanity in surprising ways: obsessing about TV shows, fretting a child's college financing, cajoling cops, having babies, talking baseball and worrying about their weight. It's odd to say that a film about sexual violence can be full of laughter and joy and the infectious pride of doing good work, but that was the reality I found in those cluttered offices."

Lisa F. Jackson is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose HBO documentary "The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo" received the Special Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Her career spans three decades and includes an Emmy(R) for "The Secret Life of Barbie" in 1999, an Emmy(R) nomination for "Meeting with a Killer: One Family's Journey" and numerous credits as both director and editor of projects that aired on PBS, ABC, CBS, MTV and the Hallmark Channel, among others. Jackson has screened her work and lectured at Columbia, Harvard and New York University, and was a visiting professor of documentary film at the School for Visual Arts in Manhattan.

SEX CRIMES UNIT is produced and directed by Lisa F. Jackson; co-producer, Jennifer Ollman; editor, Christina Kaufman; directors of photography, John Hazard and Guy Mossman; original music, M.G. Espar. For HBO: senior producer, Nancy Abraham; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.





  [may 2011]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S


· SHOWATCH
(series past and present)
· DEVWATCH
(series in development)
· MOVIEWATCH
(tv movies and mini-series)





[07/26/16 - 11:04 AM]
AMC's Revolutionary War Drama "Turn: Washington's Spies" to Conclude with Fourth and Final Season
The network also announced executive producer and showrunner, Craig Silverstein, has renewed his overall development deal.

[07/26/16 - 10:37 AM]
"Girl in the Box," The Disturbing True Story of a Woman Held Captive for Seven Years, Premieres September 10 on Lifetime, Starring Addison Timlin, Zane Holtz and Zelda Williams
Immediately following the premiere of the film, the two-part special "Colleen Stan: The Girl in the Box," which documents the real-life story of Colleen Stan, will air at 10:00/9:00c.

[07/26/16 - 10:03 AM]
Hulu Announces New Original Special From Emmy(R)-Nominated Triumph the Insult Comic Dog
The new Hulu Original, in association with Funny Or Die, will become available to stream to Hulu subscribers on August 11.

[07/26/16 - 10:01 AM]
Spike Greenlights New Game Show, "Caraoke Showdown," Hosted by Craig Robinson
"Caraoke Showdown" will tape in Los Angeles and New York this summer and debut on Spike in 2017.

[07/26/16 - 09:01 AM]
Monday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC Tops Charts with "The Bachelorette"
The Alphabet leads the night in total viewers and adults 18-49.

[07/26/16 - 08:15 AM]
"Roast Battle" Adds Judd Apatow, Whoopi Goldberg, Kevin Hart and Seth Rogen to All-Star Panel of Judges
They'll join the previously announced Anthony Jeselnik, Jimmy Kimmel, Sarah Silverman and David Spade.

[07/26/16 - 07:18 AM]
Let the Battle Begin on Season Eight of "Ink Master" Premiering Tuesday, August 23 at 10PM ET/PT
This season, judges - and now, mentors - Oliver Peck and Chris Nuñez will pick their own teams of tattoo artists as the contestants battle it out in permanent ink for a $100,000 grand prize.

[07/26/16 - 06:14 AM]
Netflix and John Wells Productions Team Up to Tell the Definitive Story Behind The Panama Papers
The project aims to tell the definitive story behind the two journalists who cracked open an unprecedented torrent of lies, diversions and information that revealed how the wealthy hid billions of dollars offshore through a little known law firm in Panama.

[07/25/16 - 05:49 PM]
Five Episodes of HGTV's "Flip or Flop" Will Showcase Spectacular Backyard Transformations
The special episodes will premiere Thursday, August 25 through Thursday, September 22.

[07/25/16 - 01:42 PM]
E!'s Scripted Series "The Arrangement" Begins Production in Vancouver
The 10-episode one-hour series is a multi-layered, Hollywood love story about the darker side of celebrity where nobody is what they seem.

[07/25/16 - 01:38 PM]
Digital Star Hannah Hart Joins Food Network Lineup
Plans for the partnership include a six episode series along with an array of complementary digital and social content leveraging both Hart's and the network's respective digital footprints.

[07/25/16 - 01:10 PM]
Destination America Earns #1 Telecast Ever in P25-54 with "Ghosts of Shepherdstown" Season Finale
Destination America further spins the numbers for Sunday, July 17.

[07/25/16 - 12:53 PM]
National Geographic Channel Greenlights Second Season of Critically Acclaimed Series "Breakthrough"
Production has begun on the new season, which is slated to air in spring 2017 in 440 million homes in 171 countries and in 45 languages, as well as on the Spanish language network Nat Geo Mundo.

[07/25/16 - 11:57 AM]
Netflix Announces Steve Aoki Doc: "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead"
In the lead-up to Aoki's biggest show of his career, this introspective doc examines the driving force behind his passion: Rocky Aoki, daredevil showman, Benihana founder, and Steve's looming father figure.

[07/25/16 - 11:30 AM]
Michelle Dockery Joins Cast of "Godless" for Netflix
Dockery joins previously announced cast members, including: Jeff Daniels and Jack O'Connell, in the period drama, that is set to premiere worldwide on Netflix in 2017.