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Officer Nate Kendall aids a woman in trouble and becomes roped into solving a rape case. While Detectives Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson believe that Kendall is not right for the case due to his unstable personality, Executive ADA Sonya Paxton joins the team, bringing evidence of a common thread among three other rape cases. With Paxton’s help, the team might expose a serial rapist.
A young woman's body is found stuffed inside a suitcase, and police believe that Mindy Keefe, the victim, was a train passenger on her way to Tampa when she was murdered. Detectives Benson and Stabler turn to Keefe's financier boyfriend, Owen Cassidy's (guest star Matt Burns) yacht to investigate. However, Cassidy claims he was on his boat during the time of the murder. After further searching, the detectives discover Keefe belonged to an online dating website. But when the CEO of the dating website, Vance Shepard (special guest star Eric McCormack), refuses to comment on the case, the detectives turn to ADA Sonya Paxton for help.
When Lily Milton (guest star Deborah Ann Woll) is reported missing, her boyfriend, Parker Hubbard (guest star Bobby Campo), points Detectives Benson and Stabler in the direction of Callum Donovan (guest star Stephen Rea), Lily's downstairs neighbor and convicted bank robber who spent nineteen years in solitary confinement. During the investigation into Donovan's alibi, Lily is found alive, adding a surprising twist to the case and exposing more of Donovan's dark past.
After a night of heavy drinking, Dalton Rindell (guest star Scott Foley) wakes up to a bloody apartment, a terrible cut on his head and a dead woman in his bed. Unable to recall the night before, Rindell immediately calls the police. Detectives Benson and Stabler suspect the crime is the result of a deadly love triangle; however Rindell does not recognize the victim. After questioning Rindell and the victim’s family and friends, Benson and Stabler are provided with leads in several different directions. Unsure which lead to follow, the two detectives decide to return to the bar where the night began in order to piece together the gruesome truth.
After Eva Banks (guest star Rosie Perez) makes a shocking discovery about her son, Cory's (guest star Cruz Santiago) behavior at school, she takes him to the doctor, only to find out that he has been the victim of sexual abuse. Detectives Benson and Stabler come onto the scene and question the victim and his family. From the boy’s frightened reaction when his stepfather, Thomas Banks (guest star Jim True-Frost), silences the investigation, it is clear to everyone in the room who the real perpetrator is. Detective Benson and Stabler are about to arrest the suspect when Thomas agrees to give up the leader of the largest pro child-adult relationship civil rights group in exchange for amnesty.
The FBI gets involved in a murder case when it becomes too dangerous for the SVU cops.
The team investigates the father of a murdered teenager whose crime scene photo has gone viral on the web, but they believe they've found a more likely suspect when they speak with the girl's therapist. The case becomes more frustrating as alibis exclude suspects and a strange occurrence in the morgue sends them in a different direction.
Stabler is torn between a troubling rape case which victim has had pictures posted on the net and his son, whose friend's actions may endanger a life and both of their futures.
DNA links Olivia to the murder of a biker in Central Park whose gang specialized in hits and prostitution. With Munch and Fin assigned to the investigation and evidence continuing to mount against Benson, Elliot begins his own inquiry – determined to prove her innocence and save her career.
Fin's investigation into three little girl's deaths takes him into the world of immigration, anchor babies, a grassroots opposition movement, a radio talk show host who fans the hatred, and an immigration rights attorney who is somehow tied up in everything.
One case becomes two as a murder leads to a serial rapist who is busy spreading disease along with his assaults, and the detectives' only clue is a website set up for casual and anonymous encounters.
When a rich and powerful couple with political connections is found murdered in their bedroom, Detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler decide to speak to the deceased couple's daughter, Anne, for more information. After hearing Anne's account of a nefarious man who has been following her, the detectives soon discover that Anne's supposed stalker is none other than Detective Ash Ramsey of the Special Frauds division. Convinced that Anne killed her parents for their money, Ramsey becomes suspicious of Anne's business manager and is led to believe that he helped her steal money from the foundation she runs. When blackmail and embezzlement come into play, the detectives find that their lives may be at risk over a girl with some serious parent issues.
Detectives Olivia Benson and Eliot Stabler find a woman bleeding from the neck and nearly dead. The woman dies before they reach the hospital, and soon the investigation leads them to the frontman of the death metal band Vampyre Sacrifyce. He bites girls, steals blood from the local blood bank and sings about violence to women all in the name of his strange, vampiric lifestyle. The singer claims he was nowhere near the scene of the crime, and soon a lesbian rights group led by Babs Duffy gets involved, claiming the victim's death was a result of police neglect. However, when more women from Babs's group are attacked, it becomes clear that the victim's case wasn't an isolated incident and that someone out there has a larger plan to bring the group down.
When a series of young prostitutes are found murdered with homemade prayer cards attached to their bodies, Detectives Olivia Benson and Eliot Stabler struggle to find the common thread. However, just when they think that they've found the murderer, Captain Donald Cragen (Dann Florek) informs the detectives that another victim named Gladys has turned up with a prayer card. This time she survived. As the case unfolds, Benson finds herself getting emotionally invested in the survivor until she is forced to make a decision that she isn't ready to face.
Benson and Stabler investigate the abduction of a woman in a building owned by a high-powered and highly protected investment banker, but when Munch's memory of an eerily similar crime proves true the focus turns toward potentially freeing an innocent man, and it may take the DA himself to shake loose the truth.
Soon after a young girl, Laine McAlister, is raped in her apartment building's stairwell, Detectives Olivia Benson and Eliot Stabler meet Laine in the hospital and find her extremely shaken with a large cut on her hand. After an unpleasant exchange with a man she claims is her boyfriend, the detectives become suspicious that she may have fabricated her rape to get attention. Their suspicions grow when she waits to reveal that there was an eyewitness. As the gravity of the situation intensifies, Benson and Stabler find themselves in a race to track down the witness and get a testimony before it is too late.
Detectives Olivia Benson and Eliot Stabler are called in to investigate when a disabled woman, Cara Benson, is beaten and raped. Though the victim's condition has rendered her unable to speak, the detectives soon deduce that someone close to her is responsible, with the lead suspects being her resentful sister (guest star Jill Scott) and troubled nephew. As the investigation continues, Benson and Stabler strive to make Cara comfortable with coming forward to stand up for herself and illuminating some of the disturbing truths about the assisted living business.
When a journalist is found raped and murdered in her own bed, Cragen is able to connect this particular case to another five murders that happened thirty years ago, committed by the "Bedtime Butcher". To uncover the truth behind the crimes, Benson goes undercover in order to find the real killer.
A case of mistaken identity complicates the investigation into the murder of whom most believe was an uninvited wedding guest at a hotel in which the body was found.
After a young woman is sexually assaulted and murdered, Detectives Olivia Benson and Eliot Stabler track down the woman's boyfriend - their first suspect - but learn that he is a devout vegan who wouldn't hurt a fly. They soon find that the victim had been deeply involved in the fight to expose questionable practices in the meat-packing industry, even going undercover at a large company to find out the truth. Benson goes undercover herself to retrace the woman's footsteps and to identify who the victim might have angered along the way.
After two young girls die in a fire, Stabler finds a familiar face in the prosecutor assigned to the case.
When a pregnant woman is raped, Detectives Olivia Benson and Eliot Stabler arrive at the hospital to find that she has fled. Even when someone is arrested for a similar offense, ADA Jo Marlowe says she doesn't have a case in court unless they find the victim and get a statement from her. Soon, Benson and Stabler connect the woman to an illegal adoption operation, forcing them to go undercover and expose the truth.
After a man flashes customers at an electronics store, it is discovered that someone who matches his description has recently raped three young girls. Captain Donald Cragen orchestrates a movement to catch the rapist, and a rookie cop makes an arrest. Detectives Olivia Benson and Eliot Stabler confirm that they've found their man, but after ADA Jo Marlowe expresses some doubts, it is soon discovered that the so-called rookie may have some secrets of his own.
The detectives end up in a dangerous situation while investigating the whereabouts of a kidnapped eight-year-old boy.