In the criminal justice system, sexually-based offenses are considered especially heinous. In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit. These are their stories.
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A high-profile activist suspects her sister has been kidnapped by a hate group. Garland and Benson push for change with NYPD brass. Kat gets some good news.
Cases include a killing at a church and an investigation that involves sexual-abuse charges against a priest.
After a mother (Lois Smith) reports that her mentally challenged daughter (Andrea Fay Friedman) is pregnant, the detectives try to find out who fathered the child.
A dark family secret surfaces after a young woman (Martha Plimpton) is raped at a party.
Henry Winkler plays a restaurateur whose wife is assaulted during a robbery at their plush Manhattan residence.
In investigating the sexual assault of a 16-year-old, it's discovered that the victim is the rebellious stepdaughter of a judge (Keir Dullea).
Judith Light joins the series in a recurring role as the unit's tough new chief, as Cabot breaks the rules in an attempt to catch a pedophile (Beau Gravitte).
The detectives investigate the sexual assault of a cellist (Emily Deschanel) and discover surveillance equipment hidden in her apartment.
Stabler breaks the rules to uncover the facts when a student (Brittany Slattery) claims that she was assaulted by a teacher.
At the request of a murdered teen's parents, Stabler tries to get a serial killer (Nick Chinlund) who's about to be executed to admit that the teen was one of his victims.
Benson teams up with Fin to investigate the murder of a woman found under a highway.
The detectives investigate a double slaying in which the female victim was dismembered.
The detectives seek a woman who is on the run from her drug-dealing lover, whom she saw murder a rival.
A woman who's seven months pregnant is found assaulted, with her fetus removed.
The investigation of an apparently accidental death leads to charges by a male stripper that the deceased was one of three women who sexually assaulted him.
A computer game provides clues in the death of a physically abused little girl in foster care.
The search for a serial rapist leads to a case in which the defense attorney (Diane Baker) tries to blame the suspect's actions on his genes.
The investigation of a shooting near a gay bar leads to a couple's involvement with porn movies.
A brash, intense detective (David Keith) is assigned to help Stabler catch a serial rapist-killer.
When guests arrive for a party, they find the hosts have been assaulted, one of them fatally.
Stabler tries to build a case against an ex-con who's HIV-positive and preys on young girls.
A kidnapping investigation links a past case with which Cragen was involved to a 12-year-old (Ian Cronin) whose adoption is deemed illegal.
After three murder victims are connected to Benson's past cases, it's believed that the killer is seeking revenge on the detective.
An 18-year-old (Kelly Hutchinson) in therapy recalls being sexually abused by her father (Brian Kerwin) and presses charges against him.