In an Anchorage motel room in 1983, 17-year-old Cindy Paulson (Vanessa Hudgens) is handcuffed and screaming for help. She is rescued by an Anchorage Police Department patrol officer. He takes Paulson to the hospital, and her clothes are kept for a rape kit. At an APD station, she explains to detectives that she was abducted and raped. Because she is a prostitute and lying about her age, the detectives do not believe her story, refusing to even look into the man whom she named as her abductor, Robert Hansen (John Cusack). They claim Hansen is an upstanding member of society, a family man who owns his own restaurant, with alibis from three people.