The 3rd season of the television series, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit premiered Friday, September 28, 2001 and ended Friday, May 17, 2002 on NBC. It occupied the Friday 10:00 p.m. timeselot once again.
A young woman claims she was raped by her powerful father, and it turns a prominent family upside down.
The police and FBI join together to investigate a series of murders, which are all linked to Detective Benson's cases.
A stolen baby leads to an illegal adoption ring and the long lost closure of a case of a murdered mother and missing baby.
A series of rapes and murders of young African-American women baffle police, who initially chase the wrong suspect.
A prominent doctor is beaten to death and his wife is raped, and the detectives have a parade of suspects before they find the truth.
A string of murders leads police to question an initial suspect, the Soho Strangler, but they realize he might have been the wrong person all along.
A man is shot and raped outside a gay bar and initially doesn't want to cooperate to find his shooter. When he does, it turns his life upside down.
A series of brutal rapes and attacks on Asian women lead the police to the son of a rapist, and the question of whether his genetic make-up was responsible for the crimes.
A five-year-old girl is beaten to death and members of her foster family are under suspicion.
Three powerful women are accused of raping a male stripper, but only after one of the women is found dead due to a bizarre auto-erotic act.
A pregnant woman is attacked and her unborn child ripped from her stomach, but prosecuting the alleged killer for murder of the baby becomes complicated.
A small boy is shot and his mother abandons him at the hospital because she fears for her own life.
Two people are found murdered in the park, including a woman who has been raped and then dismembered. The police initially think a teenage boy who tortures animals is the killer, but they are in for a surprise.
A woman is found raped and killed by her car. Benson and Tutuola try to figure out why there were drugs in the victim's trunk but then find that a similar rape was committed. This victim says that a police officer raped her after pulling her over for a supposed driving violation. The D.A. now has to zero in on the corrupt cop.
As an inmate gets closer and closer to his death penalty sentence, Stabler struggles to find out whether that man was the perpetrator of a different crime with an unidentified murderer. Dr. Huang assists Stabler but the investigation goes haywire to mixed results.
Stabler's wife tells him that her friend (a nurse) treated a young girl for rape by a teacher. Despite being advised not to find out further details, Stabler, with help from Benson, crack open the case to disturbing details. The girl had been part of a club in which sexual favors were given for drugs in a group of teenagers.
The sexual assault of a cellist leads the detectives to a stalking case where the suspect uses surveillance equipment.
When A.D.A. Cabot is faced with a reluctant witness in a child molestation case, she goes above and beyond the normal scope of duty in her search for evidence to convict the serial abuser. But her passion supercedes her compliance with the law as she misrepresents herself to Benson and Stabler to bring them into an illegal search of the traumatised boy's home -- jeopardising not only her case, but the careers of all involved. SVU Bureau Chief Elizabeth Donnelly is faced with the frustrating task of bringing Cabot in line to preserve the integrity of the Special Victims Unit.
In investigating the sexual assault of a 16-year-old, it's discovered that the victim is the rebellious stepdaughter of a judge.
Investigating the assault of the wife of a restaurateur during a robbery, leads the detectives to a similar assault, and to a locksmith.
When a heroin junkie is found raped, Tutuola takes an interest in Claire, but he's not the only one. When they find a finger in her purse, it opens a can of worms that spans back thirteen years, to when a teenaged Claire witnessed her mother beating her baby sister Lisa to death, and even further back, when Claire's grandmother, Rose, turned Grace in for the murder of her first-born son, Anthony, years before Claire was born.
The investigation into the rape and impregnation of a young girl with Down's Syndrome uncovers a serial rapist who preys on handicapped young girls under the guise of being their benefactor.
A murder in a church leads Benson and Stabler to an alleged cover-up involving sexual abuse by a priest.