In Season Three, Detective Benson (Mariska Hargitay) faces the wrath of a man she put in prison; a baby snatching leads Captain Cragen (Dann Florek) to a gut-wrenching cold case; and a search for a criminal pairs Detective Stabler (Christopher Meloni) with an old colleague (guest star David Keith).
A young woman with repressed memory syndrome suddenly recollects that her father molested her as a child. This revelation rips her seemingly normal family apart as she files charges against her father...who later turns up dead.
When three unrelated people connected to cases that were handled by Detective Benson (Mariska Hargitay) are found ritualistically murdered, all the evidence points to Benson as the true target of the violence. As she struggles with guilt over the murders, Benson continues to pursue the assailant despite warnings from the FBI that she may be in danger.
When a baby is stolen from her mother in a grocery store, Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) soon discover that the kidnapping is only the tip of the iceberg in a baby snatching-and-selling scheme.
When a violent rapist is released from prison, Stabler is convinced it won't be long before the man is back to his old tricks. Indeed, rapes fitting the man's m.o. begin to occur and the case becomes personal as Stabler stalks the man to prevent him from commiting another crime.
When a hit gone bad results in the death of a prominent doctor and the rape of his wife, the investigation turns up a sordid love triangle.
Stabler is losing faith in the system when a case comes along that pairs him with a rogue cop whose faith is already lost.
A man is found shot and raped outside a gay bar. When Benson and Stabler try to help the victim, he disappears from the hospital and won't cooperate with the investigation. It is later learned that the man stars in gay porn films to finance the medical bills of his daughter, who suffers with cystic fibrosis.
Asian women in Chinatown are the victims of a serial rapist/killer. DNA evidence is found at one of the crime scenes, and it traces back to a dying African-American prisoner who committed multiple rapes twenty-five years prior.
When the battered body of a murdered 5-year-old girl in foster care is discovered, Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) must explore a complex array of family connections in their search for a motive and murderer. Academy Award-nominee Piper Laurie guest stars.
When a young wife is found dead after what appears to have been an auto-erotic encounter, Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) find that the deceased and a group of her girlfriends had recently been accused of raping a male stripper (guest star Pete Starrett).
A woman is seemingly raped and forcibly given a back-alley c-section that leaves her in critical condition. Her baby is missing, and the SVU team races to find him.
A mother brings her son to the hospital after he is shot during a drive-by, then she disappears when the cops arrive. The SVU detectives investigate and eventually learn that the woman is the girlfriend of a drug kingpin -- and she now fears her boyfriend is trying to kill her and her family.
The murder of an animal control worker leads to a story that details the early warning signs of a serial killer. The initial subject is an extremely bright, disenfranchised youngster, known for his cruelty to animals. Though suspicion eventually turns elsewhere, the detectives are well aware that they will have a date with the warped teen at some point in the future.
The discovery of a raped and murdered woman near her car forces Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and "Fin" (Ice-T) to become partners to determine both the motive for the crime -- and why the victim was in possession of a trunk full of counterfeit narcotics.
As serial killer Matthew Brodus (guest star Nick Chinlund) awaits his imminent execution in three days, Detective Stabler (Christopher Meloni) races against time to determine if the convicted man also murdered and raped another victim whose assailant was never identified -- thus giving the slain woman's parents (guest stars William Hill and Laura Hughes) a measure of closure.
Stabler rolls into action when his wife, Kathy, tells him her friend, a nurse, treated a 14-year rape victim who refused to report the crime. Betraying his wife's confidence, Stabler begins the search for the girl, co-opting Benson along the way. After angering Kathy, the nurse, and more importantly, their boss Cragen, they indeed find the girl...and uncover a disturbing teen sex club.
A woman is found beaten in her apartment, and investigation of the crime scene yields the discovery of secret cameras throughout the woman's apartment.
A 15-year old boy's mother comes forward to police once she realizes a "friend of the family" is actually abusing her son. A sting is set up using the boy as bait and the detectives come up short getting all the evidence they need. As a result, the boy must testify. ADA Cabot prepares the boy for the trial, but doesn't realize he is succumbing to all the pressure.
A schoolgirl is raped and assaulted and later dies in the OR before Benson is able to get a full rape kit, leaving her attacker a mystery. Benson and Stabler discover the victim is Patricia Stephens, a judge's step-daughter.
A woman is attacked and left for dead in her own home, and her husband has no idea who would want to hurt her. A similar attack happens in the neighborhood and the detectives' investigation leads to a security system repairman who worked on both homes. But the detectives question whether they've got their guy when the fingerprint of the original victim's husband is found in the repairman's van.
A routine rape case becomes much more when the detectives discover a child's finger in the victim's purse. Investigation yields the finger is from a relative of the victim, but the victim is a drug addict who refuses to help the detectives. The question then becomes... what happened to the child?
A girl with Down Syndrome is pregnant, and the question is, was she raped or did she consent, and is she competent enough to keep her child?
When Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) are called to the scene of a murder in a church, they find that Bobby Douglas (guest star Sean Dugan), the young man responsible for the crime, had been receiving payoffs from the church to cover up his sexual abuse by a priest. Eric Stoltz guest stars.