Naive small town teenager Ellie, is raped and beaten on an outing with some older men. The rape investigation and trial are bungled by both local police and the prosecutor. The rapist's female attorney Lynn Hollister shreds Ellie's tearful account on the stand, as Hollister forcefully defends her client. The only other witnesses are the rapist's cleaned-up male buddies, so the smarmy rapist Carl Berg is acquitted. Ellie's mother, mystery novelist Ruth Rendell, sets out to avenge her daughter, though Ellie's stepfather Frank opposes the plan, fearing repercussions. Mrs. R's daughter (played by Season Hubley, daughter of the animators John and Faith Hubley) is caught in the crossfire between her parents, especially when Frank cautions her against talking to strange men.