Benson and Tutuola are called in to investigate when crusading TV host Alicia Harding's quest to find her sister's abductor becomes dangerous. ADA Paxton gets involved, but she may not be entirely objective. And as Harding nears closure, she will put someone's life at risk.
When an art patron (LuAnn de Lesseps) discovers a gruesome work of art, it leads gallery visitors to find a woman (Kathryn Barnhardt) dead in her apartment above. Benson and Stabler look into the victim's personal contacts and find someone (Kate Burton), who appears to be a friend in the wine industry. However, she is later revealed to be an abusive boss with a habit of beating and berating her employees. The troubled woman kills herself in the middle of a press conference, leaving the detectives to try to fill in the missing gaps.
Detectives Benson and Stabler are frustrated by the justice system when it seems their prime suspect in the case of a sexually abused teenager with PTSD may be able to buy his way out of a conviction with his high-priced lawyer and manipulations.
Detectives Stabler and Tutuola investigate when a rapist videotapes his attack and uses his university's dedicated web feed to broadcast it to every user, exposing his victim to the public.
When a woman is raped by a masked man with her domestic partner tied on the bed beside them, Benson and Stabler try to identify the man. Ann Jackson is left in critical condition, but her partner remembers details that strike a chord in Ann's father's memory. Unfortunately, Captain Jackson is a psychiatrist who invokes privilege, which leaves Benson and Stabler to investigate the doctor and what turns out to be quite a colorful and dissolute history.
A Brooklyn ADA plunges to her death from off a parking garage, and Benson is suspicious of the first detective on the scene, which has been compromised. As her investigation continues, she turns to a familiar face in the US Attorney's office for assistance.
A young boy is found dead on a park carousel after being dropped off by his uncle (James Carpinello). Stabler discovers that he was beaten to death and the mother accuses a bully (Sammuel Soifer) at his school. The SVU discovers that the beating did not take place at school, but rather in a park where members of an unsettling gambling ring gather to watch teenagers fight. Stabler and Tutuola suspect that one of the ring leaders (Adam Senn) is beating his wife (Drea de Matteo) and son (Al Calderon). When the abusive man is killed by a family member, Hardwicke must decide whom to prosecute for his murder.
A young man (Michelangelo Milano) finds that his girlfriend (Taryn Manning) has been attacked in her apartment with evidence that points to her buried past. Benson and Stabler go in search of her attacker (Devin Ratray) and discover that an elderly author (David Patrick Kelly) used to abuse children. With the statute of limitations coming up, Hardwicke has a hard time prosecuting the man, who acts as his own savvy defense attorney. Detectives reach out to a childhood friend (Brian Justin Crum) of the victim only to find that he never left the world of child pornography.
Stabler's participation in a Take Back the Night rally at Kathleen's campus results in an extra case for him and Benson when a student claims she was raped. Unfortunately, the case turns out to be a "he said-she said" type with little evidence. Enter Sonya Paxton, and it can only get more complicated.
A rape case happens to turn up Vivian Arliss' name, and Benson, who has not given up trying to find Calvin's mother, wants on the investigation. When Cragen gives it to Tutuola and Munch instead, she will risk her job, defying his orders, because of the bond forming between her and Calvin.
Benson and Stabler investigate the rape and murder of a woman whose body is found at an industrial laundry facility. The detectives quickly catch up with the prime suspect, but the case ends up to be much more complicated than they thought when evidence of a serial killer is revealed and more victims are found. Meanwhile, Benson's attempt to locate a witness ends with a procedural misstep that will change her life.
Benson and Stabler are investigating the rape of Agent Dana Lewis when suddenly she no longer cooperates and cites her undercover assignment as the reason. Frustration leads to the detectives joining her operation, which is protesting the plans to build a mosque at Ground Zero – at least that is what is supposed to be happening.
When a strait-laced woman is found dead in a fountain after a night on the town, Detectives Benson and Stabler have a hard time putting together a clear picture of the victim. After the tox results are returned, suspicion falls on a professor at a local college with radical politics and equally radical ways to make his points. The question is, how much danger will the detectives put themselves in as long as they make their case against him?
When Benson and Stabler investigate a brutal attack on an unassuming, upstanding father (Michael Gladis), they find him branded on his chest with a wire coat hanger. Before long, another victim turns up (Kevin Alejandro), who has suffered the same injuries. A connection is found when the SVU learns that both men work for the same employer (Jason Wiles). When their assailant (Bess Rous) is captured, her story convinces Benson and new Assistant DA Gillian Hardwicke (Melissa Sagemiller) that she endured far greater suffering.
Detectives Benson and Stabler find their hands tied when a victim of multiple rapes refuses the rape kit because of the terror of her circumstances. Benson is determined to help, and sets out to find another way, but her research reveals that there are thousands of untested rape kits across the nation. Appalled, she still presses forward with the investigation, finally unearthing a lead in Los Angeles that might see some peace for her victim.
Detectives Benson and Stabler investigate the death of a teenaged girl involved in a hit-and-run accident after Dr. Warner rules her death was a homicide based on signs of malnutrition and a recent delivery. When the evidence leads them to a human trafficking operation, however, they contact an old colleague whose promotion has given her some influence. Elsewhere, Captain Cragen becomes increasingly frustrated with the deteriorating condition at his precinct.
The rape of a 10-year-old girl is so brutal it leaves her unable to recall her own name. Unfortunately, once Fin assists with the ID, the detectives find she's not the only one with memory impairment, and Dr. Huang is brought in to assess her home situation. The case becomes more complicated when Erik Weber reappears and inserts himself where he does not belong, although he may be their only lead, with potentially explosive consequences.
Benson and Stabler are called to investigate when an eight-year-old boy is kidnapped. His parents become the main suspects, but complications ensue because of the parental tug-of-war, which endangers the SVU detectives and reveals shocking truths about the past of someone close to them.
The investigation into the rape of three young girls (Antonella Lentini, Danika Yarosh and Madison Cerniglia) reveals some secrets about a supposed rookie cop (Graham Davie). The rookie arrests the rapist (Raphael Sbarge) despite being a high school student. Upon repeated insistence from Marlowe to stay away from the case, he places himself in harm's way by snooping into the investigation, getting arrested twice in the process. One of his personal investigations nearly gets him killed, but it turns the case in Marlowe's favor by implicating the rapist's father (Raymond J. Barry) in the crimes as well.
Benson and Stabler are pulled between suspects when they are called to the home of a missing 10-year-old girl by her adoptive, but controlling, parents. Believing she ran away to meet a man with whom she was friends on the internet, suspicion turns towards Erik Weber whose expressed interest in Benson surprisingly strikes a spark. Then a mystery from the parents' past is revealed, and a girl's life hangs in the balance.
Jo Marlowe, Stabler's old partner before SVU, becomes the new ADA for the SVU team and enlists the help of Benson and Stabler in the case of two young girls, presumably left to die in a burning house by their father (Kevin Anderson). Upon further investigation by the SVU squad, however, it is discovered that the father did not set the fire that consumed his two daughters, later exposing the incorrect assumptions of a fire marshal (P.J. Benjamin) with the help of an independent pyrotechnic investigator (Brad Dourif).
Detectives Benson and Stabler must track down a pregnant rape victim (Hanna-Liina Võsa) who disappears from the hospital. In the process, they uncover a vast baby-trafficking scam, led by a Bulgarian crime lord (Pasha D. Lychnikoff). When the woman (Gordana Rashovich) who housed the pregnant mothers is discovered murdered, Benson and Stabler go undercover as infertile parents, while ADA Marlowe clashes with Cragen over methods to protect the kidnapped woman and her newborn child. Matters become complicated in the trial when the gynecologist (David Paymer) involved is assigned the same lawyer as the mob that used him for his access to pregnant women. He realizes that if he testifies truthfully he will be killed so a shadow counsel is arranged.
A homosexual prostitute (Pressly Coker) is found dead in the storage room of a hotel during a wedding reception with the ID of a friend named Andrew Hingam (John Magaro). Fin Tutuola questions his son Ken (Ernest Waddell) about the two boys since they were all known to volunteer at the same place. Ken leads Fin to Hingam who confesses to killing his friend in self defence. Hingam's case deepens when detectives learn that his psychiatrist (Ally Walker) who prescribes a regimen of drugs and electro convulsive therapy may be performing other procedures on him as well.
After a young woman is raped and murdered, the detectives suspect the woman's death was a consequence of her protests to expose the bad side of the meat-packing industry. Detective Benson goes undercover herself at a beef company and uncovers a dark secret.
A woman (Diora Baird) is raped and cut in her apartment building's stairwell and claims a black woman saved her by punching the perpetrator (Eric Lange) in the eye. The lady is identified as Nardalee Ula (Saidah Arrika Ekulona), an illegal immigrant from Democratic Republic of the Congo, who came to America after escaping a life of sexual abuse against women used by the country as a "weapon of war". After the victim dies from MRSA, Nardalee is the only one who can testify against the rapist, but risks being deported. After her successful testimony she is awarded a U-Visa, but declines it, saying she will be going back to the Congo to help save other women from sexual abuse. Meanwhile, ADA Cabot makes a shocking decision of her own.
When she fails to show up at a bus stop, Cara Raleigh (Lisa Arrindell Anderson), a disabled former opera singer with multiple sclerosis who cannot speak, is found by her bus driver (Ralph Byers), beaten and raped in her home. Her nephew (Quinton Aaron) gives an alibi that does not check out and her sister (Jill Scott) is seen physically abusing her on video. As a result, both caregivers become suspects. Cara eventually reveals that the bus driver was the rapist but is put in a nursing home and becomes unwilling to cooperate. Benson manages to persuade her to stand trial with the unit's temporary ADA (Teddy Sears).
A series of young prostitutes is found murdered with homemade prayer cards attached to their bodies leading Detectives Benson and Stabler to a religious zealot (Lee Tergesen). However, they find a prostitute (Mischa Barton) who survived his attacks and count on her testimony to put the killer away. Olivia is left to make a heartbreaking decision after the survivor asks for her help.
Cragen and the SVU squad find a woman dead in a garbage can soon after she is recorded being abducted by security cameras. Munch recalls a similar case from twenty years before, which sends Benson and Stabler to Sing Sing to speak to the supposed culprit (Yul Vazquez). The detectives discover that the building owner (Richard Burgi) actually committed both crimes after their investigation comes under fierce opposition from his lawyer (Lena Olin). The trial that follows focuses on the collateral damage caused by attorney–client privilege.
When a seventeen-year-old is found strangled and beaten to death in an alley, her ex-boyfriend (Brady Corbet) leads the cops to a website that she used to meet up with random men. Detective Benson decides to create a user account for the site and finds a womanizer (Brian Geraghty) who met with the victim and had sex with her without a condom. The case is closed when a different suspect is proven guilty of the murder but a new one opens when the rape kit tests positive for HIV. To help ADA Cabot prosecute the predator for knowingly spreading HIV, one of his previous partners (Mattie Hawkinson) is brought into court. When this fails to work, the defendant's grandfather (Jack Larson) blames himself for his grandson's misogyny and causes him to have an epiphany.
When a wealthy couple is found murdered in their bedroom, Benson and Stabler decide to speak to the deceased couple's daughter Anne (Sarah Paulson). After hearing her story of a strange man who has been following her, the detectives soon discover that the supposed stalker is Detective Ash Ramsey (Naveen Andrews) of the Special Frauds division. Convinced that Anne killed her parents for their money, Ramsey becomes suspicious of Anne's business manager (Dennis Boutsikaris) and is led to believe that he helped her steal money from the foundation she runs. With little evidence to go on, the detectives are able to buy some time by blackmailing the foundation's leader (Edward Hibbert) into pressing charges against Anne for embezzlement. Even though hitmen have been sent after them, Benson and Ramsey go out into the open as part of a dangerous sting operation.
A member of a dangerous biker gang is killed and Benson is the prime suspect.
Fin investigates a serial killer whose M.O. is murdering the children of immigrants.
When a young girl is murdered, the detectives blame a controlling therapist who thrives on his patients' dependence. The case takes an unexpected turn.
One of Detective Stabler's most trying cases is pushed to the back burner when his son becomes involved in an intervention gone awry.
Benson and Stabler learn a young boy is being molested by his stepfather, which leads to a disturbing case of adult-child relationships.
The FBI gets involved in a murder case when it becomes too dangerous for the SVU cops.
A young girl's deceit almost causes Stabler's death and pushes the courts to take a look at the cruel and unusual punishment of solitary confinement.
A man awakes to a murderous crime scene and has no recollection of the events that occurred the night before, even though he is the prime suspect.
Benson and Stabler are forced to work with a brutish cop, Nate Kendall, after an unstable rape victim bonds with him. During an intense investigation, new evidence emerges and Stabler realizes he may have convicted the wrong man for rape almost ten years.
Benson and Stabler investigate the murder of an Internet prostitute, Emily Keefe, after her body was found folded in a suitcase in a Grand Central train.