As acting commander of the SVU, Sergeant Olivia Benson is a seasoned veteran of the unit who has seen it all. She leads with empathy and professionalism, all the while dealing with her difficult past as a product of rape, and her future as mother to a young child, both of which influence the way she relates to each victim in need of help.
The squad revisit a crime scene where bodies were buried by a serial killer. Rollins tries to get a confession, but the killer reveals shocking new info instead.
The SVU is called to a familiar crime scene – the beach where serial killer Gregory Yates buried his many victims. When another body washes ashore, Detective Rollins tries to coax him into confessing, but the surprising information he provides sends shockwaves through the police department. As the case goes to court, Barba faces off against two hotshot defense attorneys in a trial that leads to blackmail, an incriminating confession, a new victim and a fugitive suspect.
15 year-old Avery Parker walks home from school through Fort Tryon Park when she's surrounded by a group of rowdy boys. Taunts and jokes intensify to pushing and shoving, leaving Avery in the hospital and three assailants under arrest. When the DA's office decides to try one of the culprits, 15 year-old Darius McCrae, as an adult, the SVU squad agonizes over whether the punishment fits the crime, and must deal with the pain of both families involved.
A starving toddler found wandering the streets alone leads detectives to the home of Manuela Ozuna and another child in grave condition. The police question Department of Child Services caseworker Keith Musio, whose vague and backdated reports on the family suggest he hadn't checked on the children in months. When the overworked Keith accuses his supervisor, Janette Grayson, of orchestrating the false reports, Chief Dodds promises to conduct an internal investigation. But when neglect leads to death, Barba takes matters into his own hands and arrests them for manslaughter. Meanwhile, Dodds indicates some changes coming to Benson's squad.
An unarmed black man is shot during the pursuit of a suspect, raising racial tensions. Barba must indict the three officers involved – who claim they followed procedure.
Rollins' mother Beth throws her a baby shower while the SVU reports to a four-star hotel where a famous violinist was raped by her colleague, Anton Krasnikov. With no memory of the crime, Anton claims a hired escort drugged and robbed him, and evidence leads to the shocking return of Rollins' fugitive sister Kim. Meanwhile, Sgt. Mike Dodds arrives for his first day at SVU.
A reality TV family secrets begin to spill when their young teenage daughter learns she's pregnant.
The hunt for a missing teenage girl takes an emotional toll on Sgt. Dodds, and DNA evidence becomes a crucial lead in finding the girl's abductor.
Benson seeks justice in the trial of child abductor Lewis Hodda, but when a plea deal is rejected, Barba must rely on decades-old evidence to make his case and faces off against former SVU colleague Dr. Huang.
A high school student plans a clandestine hookup with his female teacher but ends up in a far more sinister situation.
Benson is taken hostage when she tries to stop a home invasion.
A murky he-said, she-said date rape case ruins the futures of two high school students.
A woman is followed home and raped outside her building, where several neighbors witness the crime but fail to call for help.
Chicago P.D. detectives Lindsay (guest star Sophia Bush) and Dawson (guest star Jon Seda) join the SVU in the hunt for two escaped murderers (returning guest stars Dallas Roberts and Jefferson Mays) they helped to convict. (Part 1 of a 2-part Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - Chicago P.D. crossover on 2-10.)
Two high-profile suspects are arrested in the takedown of an online pedophile ring following a sting operation.
When a lack of evidence leads Barba to drop rape charges against a popular actor; Rollins takes matters into her own hands.
A sexual exploitation case involving Catholic schoolgirls results in surprising charges against people in esteemed leadership positions, including judges, lawmakers, lawyers and cops.
When one of their own is implicated in a cover-up, the SVU struggles to unravel a sex trafficking operation deeply-rooted in government offices, the police department, and the Catholic Church.
Detective Carisi lives undercover at a homeless shelter to determine if one of its sex offender residents is the suspect in a string of neighborhood rapes.
A young model is raped by a renowned fashion house photographer, who looks to his successful brother to make the charges disappear.
The producers of a reality TV dating series make Benson and the SVU team part of the show when they investigate a contestant's claim that she was raped.
A corrections officer is arrested for sexually assaulting female inmates in and out of prison, and the union that supports him targets Barba and the SVU.
When the investigation of Corrections Officer Gary Munson deepens, he and his union take drastic actions that threaten the lives of ADA Barba and the SVU squad.