As Detective Tutuola's son Ken (Ernest Waddell) prepares to tell his father that he is getting married, his fiancé (Miguel Govea) is brutally assaulted by a local street gang. He is the latest in a string of recent hate crimes against gay men, and before SVU can make an arrest, a school teacher (Tony Hale) is similarly brutalized even though he does not fit the pattern. As the detectives search for a connection, they learn that he was dismissed from an elite private school for having an inappropriate relationship with a student (Dylan Minnette). In trying to help ADA Cabot make her case, they quickly realize that the facts do not add up and that another teacher (Jane Adams) may hold the clues to what really happened.
While off-duty, Detective Rollins spots a young woman (Morgan Lynch) screaming in the back of a moving taxi. The Special Victims Unit quickly identifies the victim as a rebellious teenager, estranged from her family and experimenting in the world of tattoos and self-mutilation. The case takes an unexpected turn when Dr. Warner presents the detectives with a cleanly severed leg, reminiscent of a similar finding in an old unsolved case. The detectives are drawn into the psychological elements of self-mutilation and ritual amputation as they investigate two brothers (David Eigenberg and Patrick Fischler) and a one-legged acquaintance of theirs (Britt Lower) in order to link the cases and find the missing woman.