When an investment banker is found murdered by an intern (Ian Alda), suspicion turns to his boyfriend (Bailey Chase), a professional football player who could lose everything if the truth about his sexuality comes to light. When information about his sexual orientation is leaked to the media, despite the best efforts of his publicity manager (Rick Hoffman), Benson comes under fire by Internal Affairs for her relationship with a reporter (Bill Pullman).
The SVU squad members are called in when a wealthy teenager (Natalie Hall) is found murdered in Central Park. Suspicion soon falls on the "parents" (Mae Whitman and Thom Bishops) in a homeless street family. A young girl (Madeline Taylor) agrees to give information about them to Benson and Stabler in exchange for food but it is not long before she is found murdered as well.
Detectives Benson and Lake investigate a double homicide in which a man was shot and a woman was raped and stabbed. They soon team up with Special Agent Cooper (Erika Christensen) who is tracking a serial killer and sexual sadist known as "The Woodsman." Through the Woodsman's aunt (Jane Cronin), they are able to find out the location of his latest victim. Police rescue the tortured woman (Amanda Leigh Cobb) but she succumbs to her injuries during treatment. The tragic ordeal turns into a case against a vigilante when the SVU discovers that the serial killer is already dead and that he was in fact the male victim discovered with the gunshot wound.
When a family's nanny is found gruesomely murdered, the obvious suspect is her Internet love interest, "Casanova" (guest star Steven Bauer). But it isn't long before Detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) suspect the nanny's employers (guest stars Mark Valley and Anastasia Griffith) may have a few dark skeletons in their closet. The investigation leads to a case of murder and infidelity, which is further complicated when Stabler's own family suffers a tragedy that leaves Stabler's unborn child in serious danger.
A young girl's death seems to be linked to the world of ultimate fighting, but after questioning Kona and his girlfriend (guest star CoCo), the evidence trail leads Detectives Chester Lake (Adam Beach) and Odafin "Fin" Tutuola (Ice-T) to two young brothers (guest stars 'Friday Night Lights' Gauis Charles and Arlen Escarpeta) who have more than a few skeletons in their closet. When the brothers are arrested, tensions brew within the SVU.
When Detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) discover a kidnapped girl in the trunk of a stolen rental car, they are led to her abductor; a violent, schizophrenic artist named Saul Picard (guest star Arye Gross). Picard's rage seriously injures Elliot, and the trial drives A.D.A. Casey Novak (Diane Neal) to face not only a complicated case on temporary insanity, but her own dark past as well.
When a college student is found murdered, Detectives Benson and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) recognize the body's mutilation as a copycat of serial killer Robert Morton (guest star Jared Harris). Cecilia (guest star Shannon Woodward), the last person to see the victim alive, suddenly goes missing herself. In a race to find Cecilia alive, the detectives seek out Morton and discover his loyal following, including one twisted man whose comic book series glorifies Morton's murders. The comic books are the key to finding Cecilia, but the investigation angers Morton's followers and Detective Benson find herself in serious danger.
Ben Nicholson (guest star Aidan Quinn) finds his wife Corrine (guest star Judy Kuhn) beaten into a coma, and the only witness is their mentally challenged daughter, Katie (guest star Paulina Gerzon). Because of Katie's sensitive mental condition the detectives are reluctant to have her testify. Detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) and Dr. Huang (B.D. Wong) work with Katie, and begin to piece together the night of the beating and some of Corrine's well-hidden secrets.
When a private school teacher is found stabbed to death, the detectives link her case to a victim's center, where she was working with an Iraqi man. When military doctor Faith Sutton (guest star Elizabeth McGovern) admits to being involved in psychological protocols for torture - major military secrets are uncovered.
Kristi McGarrett (guest star Liza Joyce) is raped by her sister's boyfriend, Dan Friedich (guest star Ryan Lynn), while her sister Rachel (guest star Christina Brucato) goes missing. Friedich remains a suspect, while Detective Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) use Rachel's "avatar" (screen persona) to track down the kidnapper before time runs out.
When 15 year-old Shane Mills (guest star Kyle Gallner) is diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease, he claims he caught it from his teacher, Sarah Trent (guest star Melissa Joan Hart) who supposedly seduced him. Sarah argues Shane raped her. Detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) search further into both Sarah and Shane's lives and uncover some dark secrets.
An underage escort is found dead at a wild bachelor party, and Captain Cragen cautions his team to investigate with discretion, as there were several high-profile people at the scene. In their efforts to question a well-known leader in the New York escort world, Bart Ganzel (Peter Jacobson), Detectives Benson and Amaro encounter former SVU detective Brian Cassidy (Dean Winters), who has been working undercover. With his help, the detectives dig deeper into a vicious power struggle between Ganzel's escort business and that of Delia Wilson (Brooke Smith). Meanwhile Detective Amaro's already shaky marriage is brought into focus as a hooker (Pippa Black) that Amaro met undercover begins to make advances on him. Before the case filled with systemic corruption is cracked, a shocking event threatens to destroy the life of one SVU squad member.
Guest star Cynthia Nixon turns in a powerful performance as a Janis Donovan, a woman with multiple personalities who may have abused and fatally harmed her daughter. As Detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) dig more deeply into the case - with initial resistance from Dr. Henry Carlisle (guest star Bronson Pinchot) -- Donovan continues to present even more personalities along with a harrowing twist to the case.
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.
A string of rapes in West Soho inspires a group of vigilantes to organize against both neighborhood crime and the NYPD. While Reporter Dennis Griscomb (guest star Gavin Lee) takes every opportunity to publicly criticize police efforts, the SVU squad struggles to find a lead in the case until one of the vigilantes is attacked. As the other detectives fight for control over the investigation and angry citizens, Amaro (Danny Pino) is distracted by the suspicion that his wife (guest star Laura Benanti) is seeing another man (guest star Dominic Fumusa.)
Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Amaro (Danny Pino) investigate the disappearance of a teenaged girl after her young brother calls 9-1-1. While Fin (Ice-T) and Rollins (Kelli Giddish) look into a possible abduction, they discover the girl had been searching for her biological father, an anonymous sperm donor. The investigation takes a startling turn when a suspect is found to be targeting several young, vulnerable women, all with the same personal connection. But the suspect isn’t what he seems, and Dr. Huang (Wong) must delve into his past to save the women.
A rape victim is brought to the hospital after a harrowing hours-long ordeal, and Benson (Hargitay) recognizes the suspect’s M.O. from a case she solved eight years ago. The jailed rapist confessed to Benson after a tough interrogation but has been claiming his innocence ever since his conviction. The SVU squad is forced to reopen Benson’s old case to determine if they are dealing with a copycat or a case of wrongful imprisonment. As Benson’s detective work is challenged, her personal relationship with Executive ADA Haden (Connick) is also placed in jeopardy when Counselor Bayard Ellis (Braugher) gets involved.
While video chatting with his wife (guest star Sevigny) on the way home from an international business trip, a Wall Street executive watches an intruder assault and abduct her. The kidnappers demand ransom, and Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay), Amaro (Danny Pino), Rollins (Kelli Giddish), and Tutuola (Ice-T) are on the scene when the missing housewife arrives to pick up the money. She frantically tells the detectives about her ordeal, but Benson grows suspicious of her story. The SVU squad and Assistant District Attorney Casey Novak (Diane Neal) dig deeper to find out who the real victim is in this increasingly complicated case.
Detective Benson (Hargitay) and Executive ADA Haden’s (Connick) romantic weekend is interrupted by news that an underage prostitute has gone missing. As the SVU detectives dig into her disappearance, they find a pattern of several missing escorts who all posted ads on a popular newspaper’s website. The line between Benson and Haden’s personal and professional lives starts to blur as the squad races against the clock to find the girl before it’s too late.
Detective Benson’s (Hargitay) half-brother Simon Marsden (guest star Weston) turns up in New York after a five year absence, and asks for help – Child Services is threatening to take his children away from him. She asks defense attorney Bayard Ellis (guest star Braugher) to represent her brother, but the seemingly simple case turns into a disaster for Ellis and his client. Meanwhile, a homeless couple finds a newborn baby abandoned near a hospital, and Detectives Fin (Ice-T) and Rollins (Kelli Giddish) follow the evidence to a shocking discovery.
An aspiring actress is found unconscious in Central Park with drugs in her system and evidence of sexual trauma. Detectives Benson (Hargitay) and Amaro (Pino) pay a visit to the reality show producer (guest star McKean) for whom she had auditioned just before the attack, and stop him from assaulting another actress (guest star Lambert) on the casting couch. The detectives arrest the producer, but the situation turns dangerous when his distraught son (guest star Monaghan) takes drastic action in order to get his father out of jail. Meanwhile, Benson and Executive ADA David Haden (guest star Connick) grow closer.
A gunman storms a family’s home, killing the parents and leaving their teenage daughter in critical condition. When a hate crime investigation turns into a dead end, Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and the SVU detectives struggle to find a motive for such violence. The clues lead to a surprising revelation about Detective Rollins (Giddish), which threatens her future in the Special Victims Unit.
An actress in an interactive theater production is raped on stage, while the audience believes it to be part of the show. The SVU detectives hit a dead end in their investigation when they learn the show’s passionate director (guest star Fisher Stevens) gave the audience, including the assailant, masks to wear during the performance. Detectives Rollins (Kelli Giddish) and Tutuola (Ice-T) track down an obsessed fan of the young actress who recorded the assault while stalking her, which leads Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Amaro (Danny Pino) to a respected judge (guest star Kevin Pollak.) With the judge’s reputation on the line, the SVU squad explores the underbelly of the New York theater world to uncover who really orchestrated the public attack.
The powerful CEO of a private military contractor is confronted by protesters and later found drugged and sexually assaulted in a park. Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Amaro (Danny Pino) begin their investigation but find the victim unwilling to cooperate. As the SVU squad and Executive ADA David Haden (guest star Harry Connick Jr.) explore the motives behind the attack, a much larger crime and conspiracy in Iraq is unveiled.
A Romani child disappears on his way home from school. Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Amaro (Danny Pino) interview the distraught parents, who are distrustful of the police. The initial investigation leads Fin (Ice- T) and Rollins (Kelli Giddish) to the powerful leader of the Romani community, but he denies any involvement. The family remains hopeful their boy will be found, especially when they discover his cell phone is still active. With the help of their TARU tech (guest star Gottfried) and a meddling newspaper reporter, the detectives narrow the perpetrators to a mentally challenged neighbor, throwing the tightknit Romani community into turmoil.
A military colleague (guest star Dominic Fumusa) of Detective Amaro’s (Danny Pino) wife reports his 14- year-old daughter missing. The detectives find the girl (guest star Kay Panabaker) working as a prostitute under a possessive pimp (guest star Jon Michael Hill). They quickly set up a sting operation to entrap Johns on rape charges with a minor, and arrest aging pro quarterback Jake Stanton (guest star Williams.) Detective Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and ADA Cabot (Stephanie March) seek to make an example out of the football legend, but the case is thrown into chaos with the return of defense attorney Bayard Ellis (guest star Braugher), who questions Stanton’s mental capacity after years of injuries on the field.
When a young woman is found brutally murdered, the SVU detectives use her distinctive tattoos to identify her as a recently engaged Russian mail-order bride (guest star Izabella Miko). Upon questioning her distraught fiancé (guest star Timothy Busfield), they learn that she was kidnapped and held for ransom the night of their engagement party. While the detectives follow the money to a deadly blackmail scam run by the Russian Mafia, Captain Cragen (Dann Florek) goes undercover as a sad and lonely suitor to lure out a killer.
A man in custody at a mental hospital claims to have witnessed a rape in a break room. Despite the witness' shaky credibility the SVU begins an investigation, but the alleged victim, Gia Eskas (guest star Lyonne), denies being assaulted. Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Rollins (Kelli Giddish) struggle to piece together what really happened to this young woman, especially when her aunt (guest star Preston) and mother say Gia has been repeatedly institutionalized, and has cried rape in the past.
A young woman visiting from Buffalo claims that her car was stolen outside a Manhattan convenience store with her baby still buckled in the backseat. Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Amaro (Danny Pino) get as much information as they can from the anxious mother and her boyfriend at the police station, while Fin (Ice-T) and Rollins (Kelli Giddish) track their path from Buffalo for clues. When the parents’ stories don’t add up, the detectives must uncover what really happened to the missing baby, and the truth surprises everyone.
A young music student (Vassilieva) is raped at gunpoint in her own apartment, but with her help, the SVU squad makes a quick arrest. Bureau Chief Mike Cutter (Linus Roache) takes over the case when he finds that opposing counsel is high-profile defense attorney Bayard Ellis (guest star Braugher). As Ellis works to undermine their police work and damage the victim’s credibility, the detectives take the stand to prove they have more than just a he-said, she-said case.
When a pregnant thirteen-year-old girl refuses to identify her baby’s father, Benson (Hargitay) and the SVU squad work to determine if she was raped. Their investigation leads to several men in her life including Tripp Raines, the teenage son of high-profile political couple Andrew and Kathleen Raines (MacLachlan and guest star Paige Turco) and Arturo Rivera, the son of the Raines’ housekeeper (guest star Judy Reyes.) The detectives uncover much more than they bargained for when a Raines family secret is revealed and a family member goes missing. Also starring: Ice-T (Detective Odafin Tutuola), Dann Florek (Captain Donald Cragen), Richard Belzer (Detective John Munch), Danny Pino (Detective Nick Amaro) and Kelli Giddish (Detective Amanda Rollins.) Special appearance by Diane Neal (ADA Casey Novak.).
A dancer is followed home and raped by a man with a distinctive tattoo and the details of the attack remind Rollins (Giddish) of a serial rapist she was tracking back home. The detectives arrest Gabriel Thomas (Knight), a family man who maintains his innocence, but his description and DNA match this assault and the string of rapes across multiple states that Rollins had been investigating. Although the evidence supports the arrest, the more Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Amaro (Danny Pino) dig into Thomas' past, the more they begin to believe his story. Also starring: Ice-T (Detective Odafin Tutuola), Dann Florek (Captain Donald Cragen) and Richard Belzer (Detective John Munch.) Special appearance by Diane Neal (ADA Casey Novak.)
The detectives of the Special Victims Unit are called to the scene when a hotel maid (Anika Noni Rose) reports being assaulted by an Italian diplomat (Franco Nero). Bureau Chief ADA Cutter and ADA Cabot prosecute the high-profile case, which quickly grows more complicated as the maid's credibility is publicly questioned. Detective Amanda Rollins joins the Manhattan SVU from Atlanta, while Detective Benson struggles to cope with the fall-out from the shooting in the precinct.
As a long time coach (Dan Lauria) is inducted to the Metro Basketball Hall of Fame by former students, an ex-player (Aaron Tveit) accuses the coach of sexually abusing him as a child. Detective Nick Amaro transfers into the SVU squad from narcotics and is thrown on to the case. The detectives interview former players but no one admits to abuse, forcing Detectives Benson and Tutuola to dig deeper into the coach's most successful player (Mehcad Brooks) and his manager (Heavy D).SVU investigates an accusation that a revered high school basketball coach sexually abused his players, but they ultimately may need the cooperation of a reluctant pro superstar to make the case.