Mia Lorimer (guest star Clea Duvall) claims to have been raped in an attempt to hide being abused by her husband, Brett Lorimer (guest star Nathaniel Marston). Their tenants, Jonah (guest star Mike Farrell) and Linnie Malcolm (guest star Brenda Blethyn), are aware of the abuse, but in fear of being evicted, do not report it. With the help of Linnie, Detective Benson gets Mia to confess to the abuse and sends her to a battered women's shelter. After Brett is arrested and makes bail, Mia returns to her husband and drops all charges. Devoted to Mia's safety, Detective Benson hides in a secret stairway at the Lorimer house, leading her to come across another case of spousal abuse and murder.
When a boy is lit on fire, Detectives Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) and John Munch (Richard Belzer) investigate the malicious crime. In search of a lead, the Detectives end up at Blessed Heart High School, where their student escort, Max Matarazzo (guest star Jesse McCartney) introduces them to the 'Blessed Heart Chastity Circle' and senior Alec Bernardi (guest star Philip Ettinger). Alec admits to hurting the victim, but in turn opens a new door for the detectives when he unveils a group of pregnant teenage girls.
Detectives Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) find themselves in unfamiliar territory when Doctor Raye Massey (Donna Murphy) calls them in to investigate the case of a baby infected with AIDS. Detectives Stabler and Benson discover that the baby had been prescribed ineffective vitamins by Doctor Gideon Hutton (guest star Martin Mull), who runs a 'voodoo' medical practice. After the detectives probe for more answers, similar cases of mistreated AIDS surface.
After famous astronaut Marga Janssen's corpse is found afloat in the waters of Battery Park, Detectives Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) turn to NASA astronaut Dick Finley (Guest star James Brolin) to shed some light on the case. Finley's advice exposes several more suspects, but possibly takes the detectives further from the truth.
A young woman is found trespassing in a family's home, and Detective Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) is called in to catch the intruder. The trespasser's wallet leads Stabler to a surprising suspect--his daughter, Kathleen Stabler (guest star Allison Siko). Detective Stabler is shocked to find his daughter has fallen in love with the kind of crowd he spends his days condemning. With his family life at stake, Stabler must decide how far he will go to save Kathleen, even turning to his estranged mother, Bernadette Stabler (guest star Ellen Burstyn), for help.
Teenage boy Eric Byers (guest star Marshall Allman) admits himself into the squad room, and warns the team about an unnatural desire towards his younger stepbrother, Cory Kelly (guest star Aaron Mayer). Detective Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Olivia Benson's (Mariska Hargitay) suspicions arise, and Eric admits to also looking at a website to try to curb his pedophilic urge. With no crime committed, the detectives decide to investigate this 'self-help' website for pedophiles leading them to its creator, Jake Berlin (guest star Tom Noonan).
After a young boy, Christopher Ryan (guest star Jae Head), is caught driving a runaway van, Detective Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Detective Benson (Mariska Hargitay) take the seven year-old into questioning. When Christopher claims his foster parents, Gwen and Noah Sibert (guest stars Julie Bowen and Luke Perry) bribe him in exchange for abusive medical testing, the detectives investigate his allegations.
The SVU is shaken when multiple members of the squad are determined to stop a conspiracy of dirty cops. Haunted by a ten-year-old rape-murder case, Detective Lake meets with a contact (Deirdre Lovejoy) to find out about new evidence. On his way back, he gets into a firefight with two police officers and kills one of them. In an injured state, Lake tracks down the surviving rape victim (Victoria Cartagena) and convinces her to testify. While this is happening, the SVU squad discovers that the second shooter (Jack Gwaltney) works for the Fugitive Apprehension Team. Benson and Stabler arrive just in time to stop him from killing Lake and Novak proceeds to put the shooter on trial. However, the case quickly goes downhill in the courtroom and Novak withholds evidence in a last-ditch effort to win a conviction. She is informed by Elizabeth Donnelly (Judith Light) that she faces censure and possible suspension, and that the District Attorney declined the opportunity to refile the charges. This leaves Chester with no choice but to gun down the cop himself.
A telephone voice impersonating a police officer asks people to do morally questionable and illegal things. SVU detectives learn that this plan was orchestrated by an engineer Merritt Rook (Robin Williams) in order to convince the public to be more discerning and oppose authority. Rook turns his trial into a media circus and seizes an opportunity to abduct Olivia Benson. With the help of Rook's co-worker (Ka-Ling Cheung), Elliot is able to learn about the man's tragic past and track him down. In an apparent hostage situation, Rook tries to make Elliot inflict pain on her by way of a Milgram experiment.
After a teenage girl (Shareeka Epps) is found raped in a community garden, Benson and Stabler find out that her mother (Daria Hardeman) is in a female correction facility. After the rape kit on the girl goes missing, the detectives realize that one of the corrections officers (Johnny Messner) at the facility is raping and brutalizing women. In order to find out who it is, Detective Benson goes undercover as a prisoner and is almost raped herself in the basement of the facility.
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).
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
- 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 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.
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.
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.
A young woman appears to be raped and left for dead, but she was trying to kill herself, and when she succeeds, the woman who helped her is put on trial.
A spy cam in a bathroom uncovers the molestation of a 12-year-old boy by his high school principal, but the explanation for her behavior is quite shocking.
When it becomes obvious that a forensics expert raped and murdered a student, the investigation focuses on a criminology professor that Cragen arrested decades earlier for similar crimes.
An Assistant District Attorney is found dead in his car, and although it looks like he was killed by a prostitute, his killer was someone he knew, trying to keep him from blowing their cover.
The death of a teenage mathematics prodigy sheds light on some disturbing and unhealthy practices taking place among a group of competitive students at a prestigious academy.