Justice is worth the fight, but the battle scars can last a lifetime.
Hell’s Kitchen, a neighborhood in the western part of Manhattan, was not a place for the faint of heart. It was a rough neighborhood with a notorious reputation for gangs, drugs, and violence. It was a place where people took the law into their own hands. The police department had given up on trying to control the neighborhood long ago. The residents of Hell’s Kitchen had to rely on themselves to protect their families, their businesses, and their way of life.
It was in Hell’s Kitchen that four young boys grew up. They were Michael, Tommy, Lorenzo, and John, and they were inseparable. They played on the same baseball team, went to the same school, and got into trouble together. They were fearless, and nothing could stop them.
Their lives took a dramatic turn when they were sent to a juvenile detention center for a prank that went wrong. The detention center was a dark, foreboding place, and the boys were scared. They had no idea what they were in for.
Chapter 1: The Childhood
Michael, Tommy, Lorenzo, and John were all from working-class families. They were not rich, but they had each other. They spent most of their days playing outside, getting into mischief. They would play baseball in the streets, climb trees, and explore the neighborhood.
One day, while exploring an abandoned building, they stumbled upon something they shouldn’t have. It was an old office that had been left to rot. They noticed a file cabinet in the corner, and they decided to look inside. What they found would change their lives forever.
The file cabinet was filled with files on all the kids in the neighborhood. There were reports on their behavior, their school records, and other personal information. As they were going through the files, they heard footsteps in the hallway. They quickly closed the cabinet and hid under a desk.
The door to the office opened, and a man walked in. He was a guard at the juvenile detention center. His name was Sean Nokes, and he was the boys’ worst nightmare.
Nokes noticed that the cabinet was open, and he went over to investigate. When he saw what the boys had found, he became enraged. He grabbed Tommy by the arm and dragged him out from under the desk.
“What are you doing here?” Nokes asked, his voice cold as ice.
Tommy tried to explain, but Nokes wasn’t listening. He hit Tommy in the face, knocking him to the ground. The other boys tried to run, but Nokes caught them.
“I’m going to teach you boys a lesson,” Nokes said, his eyes glinting with malice.
What followed was a night of horror that the boys would never forget. Nokes subjected them to unspeakable acts of abuse. He beat them, humiliated them, and violated them in the worst possible way.
When they returned home, they were different. They were traumatized and scared. They couldn’t talk about what had happened to them. They kept it a secret, hoping it would go away.
But it didn’t go away. It stayed with them, haunting them, and shaping their futures. They grew up with a deep-seated anger and a desire for revenge. They never forgot what had happened to them, and they always knew that they would find a way to make Nokes pay for what he had done.
Chapter 2: The Reunion
It had been years since Michael, Tommy, Lorenzo, and John had seen each other. But the memories of their shared trauma were still vivid in their minds. They had all tried to move on, to forget the horrors they had endured, but it was impossible. The scars were too deep.
When Michael received a call from Tommy, asking to meet up, he knew something was up. They agreed to meet at a local bar in Hell’s Kitchen, where they used to hang out as kids.
Michael arrived first, his nerves on edge. He hadn’t seen Tommy in years, and he didn’t know what to expect. When Tommy walked in, Michael couldn’t believe how much he had changed. He was muscular, and his tattoos covered most of his body. He looked like a hardened criminal. But Michael knew the truth; Tommy was still the same little boy he had grown up with, only now he was filled with rage.
They embraced, and it was like no time had passed. They reminisced about their childhood, the good times they had shared, but the conversation quickly turned serious.
Tommy explained that he had been doing some digging, trying to find out if Sean Nokes was still working at the detention center. His worst fears were confirmed when he found out that Nokes was still there, still preying on young boys.
It was then that Tommy revealed his plan. He wanted to take down Nokes, to make him pay for what he had done. He had a plan, but he needed Michael’s help.
Michael was hesitant at first. He had tried to move on, to forget what had happened to them. But the more Tommy talked, the angrier Michael became. He knew that they had to do something.
Tommy explained that they needed someone to help them expose Nokes, someone who had connections, someone who could get the story out to the public. He had reached out to a friend who worked as a reporter for a local newspaper, Danny. He was willing to help them, but he needed evidence.
Michael knew what that meant. They would have to break the law to get the evidence they needed. But he didn’t care; he was filled with rage and anger.
They had one more person to contact, their childhood friend, Shakes. Shakes had become a lawyer, and they knew he would be the perfect person to help them if things went wrong.
The four of them met up at Lorenzo’s apartment, and Tommy laid out his plan. It was risky, but it was the only way they could take down Nokes.
They would break into Nokes’ apartment, where Tommy believed he kept evidence of his crimes. They would then set up a meeting with Nokes, pretending to be interested in doing business with him. They would secretly record him confessing to his crimes, and they would use that evidence to take him down.
The plan was risky, but they all agreed to it. They had to do something; they couldn’t let Nokes get away with what he had done.
As they left Lorenzo’s apartment, Michael felt a sense of relief. For the first time in years, he felt like he had a purpose, like he was doing something important. He knew that things were about to get dangerous, but he didn’t care. He was ready to take down Nokes, no matter what the cost.
Chapter 3: The Plan
Michael and Tommy sat across from each other at the local diner. They hadn’t seen each other in years, but their shared traumatic experience at the juvenile detention center brought them back together. Michael’s eyes burned with an intense rage as he recounted the horrors they experienced under the cruel hands of Sean Nokes. Tommy’s face twisted in pain as he empathized with his friend’s trauma.
“How did Nokes get away with it for all these years?” Tommy asked, frustration seeping into his voice.
“He’s got the system wrapped around his finger. He’s got connections, and anyone who tries to speak up against him ends up dead or behind bars,” Michael replied, his voice low and bitter.
Tommy ran his fingers through his hair, thinking. “We can’t let him get away with this. We have to do something,” he said, determination etched across his face.
Michael nodded, and the two fell into deep thought, searching for a way to bring Nokes to justice.
Finally, Michael spoke. “I know where Nokes lives. I’ve been keeping tabs on him for years. What if we break into his place and get evidence?”
Tommy’s eyes widened in surprise. “You want to break into his place? Are you insane?”
Michael leaned forward, his voice low and intense. “We’re not kids anymore, Tommy. We can’t go to the authorities. We have to take matters into our own hands.”
Tommy hesitated for a moment, but the look in Michael’s eyes convinced him. “Okay, but we can’t do it alone. We need help.”
The two men reached out to Lorenzo and John, and within a few days, they were all gathered in Michael’s living room. Michael laid out their plan, and the others listened with bated breath.
“We need to get Nokes on tape confessing to what he did to us,” Michael said, pacing back and forth. “But we can’t just set him up. It has to be natural. We have to get him to confess to us.”
Danny, a writer for a local newspaper, spoke up. “I can help you guys get the evidence you need. I’ll record everything and make sure it gets into the right hands.”
Shakes, their old friend and now a successful lawyer, spoke next. “And if you guys get caught, I’ll defend you. But we have to make sure we have enough evidence to get a conviction.”
The group fell silent, each lost in thought. The plan was risky, and they knew the consequences if they got caught. But they also knew they couldn’t let Nokes get away with his crimes.
“We’ll do it,” Tommy finally said, his voice resolute. “We’ll take him down, no matter what it takes.”
And so, their plan was set into motion. Tommy got a job at the detention center, and Michael continued to track Nokes’ movements. They gathered evidence and made sure everything was in place.
Finally, the day arrived. They set up a meeting with Nokes, pretending to want to catch up and reminisce about the old days. They met at a bar, and Danny was there, pretending to be a friend of theirs.
Nokes was drunk and relaxed, and they slowly steered the conversation towards their past at the detention center. And then, like a bolt of lightning, Nokes’ guard dropped, and he started to confess.
“I did some things I regret, you know? But it was just a bit of fun. They were just kids,” Nokes slurred, his eyes glassy.
Danny’s recorder caught everything, and they had the evidence they needed. They left Nokes there, drunk and unaware of what had just happened.
The group sneaked into Nokes’ apartment later that night, looking for more evidence. They found photos and videos, sickening proof of Nokes’ crimes. They took everything and left, feeling a sense of relief and triumph.
The evidence was handed over to their lawyer, Shakes, and the legal battle began. But their past was catching up to them, and they knew they couldn’t let their guard down. The trial would be long and grueling, but they were determined to see it through. They were finally going to get justice, no matter the cost.
Chapter 4: The Sting
Tommy’s heart was pounding as he made his way to Nokes’ apartment building. He had never done anything like this before, and the danger of being caught was very real. But he knew what was at stake. Nokes had to pay for what he did to them, and they had to make sure he was never in a position to hurt anyone else.
He had done his homework, and he knew that Nokes was living in a dingy apartment on the seventh floor of the building. Tommy had managed to obtain a spare key to the apartment from a friend who worked as a maintenance worker in the building, and he used it to get in.
The apartment was small, with barely any furniture. But what Tommy was looking for was not furniture. He was looking for evidence that would incriminate Nokes. As he began to search through the apartment, his eyes settled on a photo album on a dusty shelf.
As he opened the album, a wave of nausea washed over him. The photos were of the boys, naked and in compromising positions. Tommy’s hands shook as he flipped through the album, his eyes landing on a picture of Nokes with a smug expression on his face, standing over one of the boys.
With his heart racing, Tommy pulled out his phone and took several pictures of the contents of the album. He then continued to search the apartment, looking for anything else that would incriminate Nokes.
As he was searching, he heard the sound of the key turning in the door. His heart skipped a beat. Had Nokes caught him? He quickly hid in the closet, his breathing shallow.
The door opened, and Tommy could hear Nokes’ heavy footsteps as he made his way into the apartment. Tommy could barely contain his fear as he heard Nokes start to rummage through his things.
But then, to Tommy’s relief, Nokes left the apartment again, muttering to himself about how he must’ve forgotten something.
Tommy waited for a few minutes before leaving the closet and continuing his search. He finally found what he was looking for: a file with the names of all the boys who had been in Nokes’ custody, including their medical records.
With shaking hands, Tommy took several pictures of the file and made his way out of the apartment. He had done it. He had the evidence they needed to take down Nokes.
Back at Michael’s apartment, the group gathered around as Tommy laid out the evidence he had obtained. Danny was impressed with the amount of evidence they had obtained, and he knew that they had a strong case against Nokes.
But they still needed more. They needed a confession from Nokes himself. They put together a plan to get Nokes to confess, and it involved a meeting between Nokes, Michael, and Tommy.
The meeting was set up in a secluded area, and Danny was there to record the conversation. Michael and Tommy confronted Nokes with the evidence, and at first, Nokes denied everything. But when he realized the severity of the situation, he broke down and confessed to everything.
Danny had everything they needed to expose Nokes’ crimes to the world. But before they could do that, they had to make sure they were protected. They reached out to Shakes, a lawyer and a friend, who agreed to defend them if they got caught.
With the evidence and the confession, they went to the press, and the story broke. The city was outraged, and the case went to trial. But as they would soon find out, taking down Nokes was only the beginning.
Chapter 5: The Trial
The courtroom was packed with reporters, activists, and curious onlookers. The trial of Sean Nokes for sexual abuse and torture of minors was about to begin. Michael, Tommy, Lorenzo, and John sat anxiously in the witness box, waiting for their turn to testify. Shakes sat next to them, going over his notes and preparing them for the cross-examination.
The prosecutor, Mr. Rizzo, was a bulldog of a man, with a reputation for being unrelenting and merciless. He began his opening statement, “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, today we will show you that the defendant, Sean Nokes, preyed on vulnerable young boys at the Wilkinson Home for Boys. He used his position of power to commit heinous acts of sexual abuse and torture. He had no regard for their well-being and violated their trust. Today, we will prove that he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Shakes stood up and delivered his opening statement, “Your honor, my clients will testify to the events that took place at the Wilkinson Home for Boys. They will tell you of the horrors they endured and the trauma that still haunts them. It is our belief that Mr. Nokes abused his position of authority and violated the trust that was placed in him. We ask that you listen to their testimony with an open mind and reserve judgment until you have heard all the evidence.”
The prosecutor began his cross-examination of Michael, the first witness. He aggressively questioned him, trying to trip him up and discredit his testimony. He asked about his criminal record, his history of drug use, and his mental health. Michael remained calm and collected, answering every question truthfully.
Tommy took the stand next. He testified about the night Nokes came into their dormitory and took them to the “pantry,” a small room used for storage. He described how Nokes made them strip naked and beat each other while he watched. He also revealed that Nokes had threatened to kill them if they told anyone.
Lorenzo was the third witness. He told the court about the day Nokes had taken him to his office and made him perform oral sex on him. He described how he felt violated and ashamed and how he had kept the abuse to himself for years.
Finally, it was John’s turn to testify. He revealed how Nokes had singled him out and made him his “special project.” He testified that Nokes had repeatedly raped him and how he had tried to kill himself because of the trauma he had endured.
The prosecution rested its case, and the defense took over. Shakes called several character witnesses, including former teachers, coaches, and mentors, who testified to the boys’ good character and reputation.
The defense also tried to poke holes in the prosecution’s case, questioning the validity of the boys’ memories, and accusing them of exaggerating and embellishing their stories. The defense argued that the boys had conspired to bring down Nokes out of revenge, rather than out of a desire for justice.
The trial went back and forth for weeks, with both sides presenting evidence and witnesses to support their case. It became clear that the trial was taking a toll on the boys. They were emotionally drained and struggling to cope with the memories that the trial had brought back.
Then, the trial took a sudden turn. One of the prosecution’s key witnesses, a former guard at the Wilkinson Home for Boys, was found dead in his apartment. The prosecutor suspected foul play and accused the defense of being involved.
Shakes was determined to find out who was responsible. He launched his own investigation, and it led him to a conspiracy that went much deeper than Nokes. He discovered that there was a network of individuals who had been covering up the abuse and protecting Nokes for years. They had powerful connections and were willing to do whatever it took to keep their secrets hidden.
As the trial came to a close, the tension in the courtroom was palpable. The jury deliberated for hours, and finally, they reached a verdict. Nokes was found guilty on all counts and sentenced to life in prison. The boys had won, but at a great cost. The trial had forced them to confront their past and relive the trauma they had endured. They left the courtroom, relieved that it was over but with scars that would never fully heal.
Chapter 6: The Twist
Shakes was up late, pouring over evidence, trying to find anything that could help their case. He knew they had a strong case against Sean Nokes, but there was something nagging at him. He kept thinking about the murder of the key witness.
He decided to go for a walk to clear his head. As he walked, he noticed a car following him. He quickened his pace, but the car was still there. He turned a corner and saw a dark alleyway. He knew he was being followed, so he darted into the alleyway and hid behind a dumpster.
As he looked out, he saw two men walking towards him. They were dressed in dark suits, and they looked like they meant business. Shakes felt a shiver run down his spine. He knew these men were dangerous.
The men stopped in front of the dumpster, and Shakes held his breath. One of the men pulled out a gun and pointed it at Shakes. “We’ve been watching you, Mr. McGann,” the man said. “We suggest you stop digging around in this case.”
Shakes knew he was in trouble. He slowly raised his hands and tried to think of a way out. “I’m just doing my job,” he said, his voice shaking.
The man with the gun shook his head. “Your job is to defend your clients. It’s not to uncover conspiracies.”
Shakes knew he had no choice. He had to find out what was going on. He agreed to meet the men the next day at a local diner.
The next day, Shakes arrived at the diner and found the two men waiting for him. They introduced themselves as FBI agents and showed him their badges. “We’re investigating a larger conspiracy,” one of the agents said. “We believe there’s a group of people within the state government who are protecting Sean Nokes.”
Shakes listened intently as the agents told him their theory. They believed that Nokes was just a small part of a much larger problem. They showed him evidence of other guards who had been involved in similar crimes.
Shakes realized that this was bigger than he had ever imagined. He knew he had to tell Michael and the others.
He arranged a meeting with them that evening at his apartment. As they all sat down, he told them about the FBI agents and their theory. Michael listened, his eyes widening as he heard the evidence.
“So what do we do now?” Tommy asked.
“We fight,” Shakes said. “We take down this entire group of people. We make sure that justice is served, not just for us, but for everyone who’s been a victim of these crimes.”
The others nodded in agreement. They knew this was their chance to make a difference.
Over the next few weeks, Shakes and the others worked tirelessly to gather evidence against the state officials who had protected Nokes. They worked in secret, knowing that their lives were in danger.
Finally, the trial began. The courtroom was packed, and tension hung in the air. Shakes and the others took the stand, revealing the horrors they had experienced at the detention center.
The prosecutor was relentless, trying to discredit their testimony at every turn. But Shakes was ready for him. He had evidence that would implicate the state officials who had protected Nokes.
As the trial continued, Shakes uncovered more and more evidence. He found emails that proved the state officials had known about the abuse and had done nothing to stop it. He found bank records that showed payments had been made to keep the victims quiet.
The trial took a sudden turn when the prosecutor’s key witness was found murdered. Shakes knew that this was the state officials’ doing. They were desperate to protect their secrets.
As the trial drew to a close, the evidence against the state officials was overwhelming. The jury took only a few hours to reach a verdict. The state officials were found guilty, and they were sentenced to prison.
Shakes and the others had won. Justice had been served. But the battle was far from over. The scars of their past would always haunt them, but they knew that they had made a difference. They had taken down a corrupt system, and they had exposed the truth. They had proven that no one is above the law.
Chapter 7: The Outcome
The courtroom held its breath as the jury announced their verdict. All four boys sat nervously in their seats, their hands clutching each other tightly. Shakes stood beside them, a reassuring presence.
The first count came in; guilty. The second count came in; guilty. The rest of the counts followed suit; all guilty. Nokes stood trembling, staring at the floor.
Michael, Tommy, Lorenzo, and John exchanged relieved smiles, tears streaming down their faces. Justice had been served, finally. The sentencing phase was next, and they hoped Nokes would receive the maximum punishment.
As the court adjourned, Shakes approached the boys. “It’s over,” he said, patting each of their shoulders. “You did it.”
But their victory was short-lived. That night, Lorenzo received a call. His mother had been attacked. They rushed to the hospital, but it was too late. She had passed away.
The boys were devastated, and for a moment, they felt like giving up. But they knew they had to keep fighting. They still had each other, and they weren’t going to let Nokes or the state take any more from them.
As they left the hospital, they saw a dark figure lurking nearby. They knew it was one of Nokes’ men, watching them. They had to be careful; they were in danger.
The sentencing phase came, and the judge handed down a maximum sentence: 30 years to life. Nokes was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs, his head bowed.
But the boys knew it wasn’t over yet. Shakes had uncovered a conspiracy involving the state, and they knew they had to get to the bottom of it. They had to make sure that no one else had to suffer the way they did.
It wasn’t easy; they had to dig deep, sift through lies and half-truths, and brave threats from powerful people. But they were determined. They had nothing to lose.
Finally, after months of hard work, they uncovered evidence of a massive cover-up, involving not just Nokes, but other officials, including the governor.
They presented their findings to the authorities, and after some convincing, the state launched an investigation. The corrupt officials were exposed, and justice was served once again.
The boys were hailed as heroes, and their story became a national sensation. They received numerous awards and accolades, and their names became synonymous with courage and justice.
But they didn’t rest on their laurels. They started a foundation to help victims of sexual abuse and to fight against corruption in the justice system. They were determined to make sure that their story had a happy ending.
Years later, as they looked back on their journey, they realized that their trauma had given them something valuable. It had given them strength, resilience, and a sense of purpose. They were no longer victims; they were survivors.
They still had bad days, days when the memories came flooding back, and they felt like they were back in that detention center. But they knew they weren’t alone. They had each other, and they had the support of millions around the world.
As they stood on stage, receiving yet another award, they looked out at the audience and smiled. They knew that their story had resonated with so many people, and that they had made a difference.
They knew that there were still battles to be fought, still injustices to be righted. But they were ready.
They had come this far, and they weren’t going to stop now.
Some scenes from the movie Sleepers written by A.I.
EXT. HELL’S KITCHEN, NEW YORK – DAY
The streets are bustling with activity as we see four boys, MICHAEL, TOMMY, LORENZO, and JOHN walking down the sidewalk. They’re all around the age of 12, and they’re rough and streetwise.
(to the boys)
“Hey, I heard there’s a new hangout spot on 39th street. You guys wanna check it out?”
“Sure, let’s go.”
As they walk down the street, they pass by a group of older boys, including SEAN NOKES, a sadistic and menacing youth prison guard. Nokes leers at the boys, and they quickly move on.
(voiceover, as scenes flash before our eyes)
“That’s the day our lives changed. We didn’t know it at the time, but we were just kids. Innocent and naive. And Sean Nokes was about to take that away from us.”
INT. JUVENILE DETENTION CENTER – DAY
Michael, Tommy, Lorenzo, and John are sitting in their cell, looking despondent.
“This place is a nightmare.”
“I just want to go home.”
Suddenly, the cell door opens, and Sean Nokes walks in. The boys’ faces fill with fear.
“Well, well, well. What do we have here? Some little rats trying to escape my grasp?”
“What do you want from us?”
Nokes grabs Michael and shoves him against the wall.
“I’ll be taking what I want, whether you like it or not.”
The door slams shut, and the boys’ screams echo through the halls.
FADE TO BLACK.
EXT. NEW YORK CITY – DAY
We see the bustling streets of Hell’s Kitchen, New York. Crowds of people are rushing to work, while street vendors sell their wares. The camera pans to a group of men sitting outside of a small café.
INT. CAFÉ – DAY
MICHAEL, TOMMY, LORENZO, and JOHN are having coffee and pastries. They seem happy to be together, but there is a sense of unease among them.
“So, what brings us all together after all these years?”
“You know why we are here, Michael.”
“We need to take care of that son of a bitch.”
“You mean Nokes?”
“We need to get him to pay for what he did to us.”
“I have an idea. We need to get evidence of his crimes and take it to the press. We need to make sure this never happens to anyone else.”
EXT. JUVENILE DETENTION CENTER – DAY
TOMMY is sitting in his car, watching the guards go in and out. We see flashbacks of his time in the detention center, and the abuse he suffered at Nokes’ hands.
“I can’t believe I’m back here.”
INT. NOKES’ APARTMENT – DAY
TOMMY is searching Nokes’ apartment, looking for evidence of his crimes. He finds photographs, videos, and journals documenting his abuse of the boys.
“I finally have the evidence we need.”
EXT. CAFÉ – DAY
MICHAEL, TOMMY, LORENZO, and JOHN are huddled together, looking at the evidence.
“This is it. We have what we need to take Nokes down.”
“But we need to be careful. If he finds out what we’re up to, he won’t hesitate to kill us.”
“We need to go to the press. This needs to be exposed.”
“But what about Shakes? He needs to defend us.”
“I’ll talk to him. He’ll understand.”
EXT. NEWSPAPER OFFICE – DAY
MICHAEL meets with DANNY, the newspaper writer. He hands him the evidence, and DANNY is shocked.
“This is explosive. We need to get this out there.”
“But we need to make sure we’re protected. Nokes is dangerous.”
“Don’t worry. We’ll make sure you’re safe.”
EXT. COURTHOUSE – DAY
The camera pans to the courthouse, where a trial is taking place. We see the four men sitting together, looking nervous.
INT. LORENZO’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
The four friends, Michael, Tommy, Lorenzo, and John, are seated in a circle, discussing their plan to take revenge on Sean Nokes.
We have to expose him. We owe it to ourselves and the others who suffered under his hands.
We need evidence before we go to the press.
I know where he lives. I can get us in.
And I can help with the legal side. I’ll make sure we’re covered.
I’ve reached out to a journalist, Danny, who can help us get the story out there.
We have to make sure we’re not caught. We’re playing with fire here.
We’re doing the right thing. We can’t let him get away with what he did to us.
We’ll meet Sean Nokes and get him to admit to his crimes. Danny will be there to record it all.
I’ll get the evidence we need from his apartment.
And I’ll make sure we’re not followed.
We’re all in this together.
INT. SEAN NOKE’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Tommy is searching through Nokes’ apartment, looking for evidence of his crimes. He comes across a box of photos and shudders in disgust at what he sees.
(ENTERING THE ROOM)
What the hell are you doing here?
Tommy turns around, startled.
I’m sorry…I was just looking for the bathroom.
Bathroom, my ass. You’re one of those little shits from the detention center, aren’t you?
Tommy tries to run, but Sean grabs him by the collar.
You’re going to pay for what you and your little friends did to me.
INT. SEAN NOKE’S APARTMENT – DAY
Tommy sneaks around the apartment, searching for evidence. He rummages through drawers and cabinets until he finds a stack of Polaroid pictures. His eyes widen as he flips through them, revealing graphic images of Sean Nokes abusing young boys.
Tommy (to himself): This sick bastard. I can’t believe he kept these.
As Tommy continues his search, the door suddenly opens, and Sean Nokes walks in, catching him red-handed.
Nokes (angrily): What the hell are you doing here?
Tommy (unfazed): Just checking out the place. You have a nice setup here.
Nokes (suspiciously): You’re not here alone, are you?
Tommy (lying): No, just me.
Nokes’ eyes narrow, and he moves closer to Tommy, who backs away slowly. Just then, Michael and John burst through the door, surprising Nokes.
Michael (pointing a gun at Nokes): Freeze, scumbag.
Nokes throws a punch at Michael, but Michael dodges it and hits Nokes with the butt of the gun. Nokes stumbles back, and Tommy and John restrain him. They force him to sit down on the couch, and Danny comes out of hiding with a recording device.
Danny: Nokes, we have evidence against you. Confess, and we’ll go easy on you.
Nokes looks around, realizing he’s outnumbered and outsmarted. He sighs defeatedly and begins to speak.
Nokes: Okay, you got me. I did those things. But you don’t understand what it’s like in there. Those kids, they’re animals. I had to take control.
Tommy (furious): You’re disgusting.
Nokes (smirking): You think this will bring you justice? You’ll never win against the system.
Michael (calmly): We’ll see about that.
As Danny ends the recording, the boys exchange looks, knowing that this is just the beginning of a long and difficult journey to bring their abuser to justice.
EXT. COURTHOUSE – DAY
The courthouse is bustling with reporters and protesters as the trial of Sean Nokes begins. Inside the courtroom, Michael, Tommy, Lorenzo and John nervously wait to take the stand.
INT. COURTHOUSE – DAY
Shakes, the lawyer, approaches the boys to calm their nerves.
SHAKES: “Look, I know this is tough. But you’ve got this. Just tell the truth, and we’ll get through this.”
MICHAEL: “I don’t know if I can do this. The prosecutor is going to tear us apart.”
SHAKES: “Just remember, your story is powerful. It’s going to take a lot for them to break you. And if they do, we’ll fight back.”
INT. COURTHOUSE – DAY
The boys take the stand, and the prosecutor begins to question them.
PROSECUTOR: “Mr. Sullivan, can you please describe the abuse you suffered under the defendant’s watch?”
MICHAEL: “He would take us to the shower room and make us take our clothes off. He would touch us and make us touch him. It was horrible.”
PROSECUTOR: “And how did you feel during this time?”
MICHAEL: “Scared. Angry. Helpless.”
INT. COURTHOUSE – DAY
Tommy takes the stand next and describes how he found evidence in Nokes’ apartment. The courtroom is captivated as he unveils a tape that he secretly recorded of Nokes confessing to his crimes.
INT. COURTHOUSE – DAY
Shakes cross-examines Nokes, and he tries to defend himself.
SHAKES: “So, you’re telling me that you never touched these boys?”
NOKES: “Absolutely not. I was just doing my job.”
SHAKES: “Your job? So, sexually abusing children was part of your job description?”
NOKES: “No, of course not. But I never touched those boys.”
SHAKES: “Then explain this.”
Shakes plays the tape, and the courtroom gasps with shock as Nokes’ confession is heard.
INT. COURTHOUSE – DAY
In the end, the jury returns a guilty verdict, and Nokes is sentenced to life in prison. The boys embrace each other, relieved that justice was served.