Season 4 (2002)
The 4th season of the television series, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit premiered September 27, 2002 and ended May 16, 2003 on NBC. This was the last season of the series to air on Friday nights at 10:00 p.m. Eastern / 9:00 p.m. Central.
Air Date: 2002-09-27
The detectives go on the trail of a recently paroled rapist responsible for the murder of a prostitute during a raid at a men's club and are called to the scene where he was shot in self defense by his own gun. However, the murder weapon was also used in another crime while he was still in prison, leading the detectives to investigate the victim through a trail of previously unsolved cases, a spending spree and another victim.
Air Date: 2002-10-04
A family portrait painted by a kindergartner leads the detectives to investigate her mother for child sexual abuse of her teenage stepson. When the boy's father is found murdered, the focus of the investigation shifts to the boy -- and his stepmother goes to great lengths to protect him and prevent the detectives from learning the truth.
Air Date: 2002-10-11
When an elderly woman breaks into an apartment, the detectives discover she had been mistreated but have to investigate with no credible information from the victim because of Alzheimer's. They discover that she had been released from a nursing home to the custody of her financially scheming son who becomes the prime suspect. However, they go back to the nursing home to find a pair of suspects, including the director who details the dangers faced by both patients and staff with her own heroics precariously standing out.
Air Date: 2002-10-18
The wife of a retired attorney, a public-health doctor, is found murdered and raped in Central Park. Her work involved contacting sexual partners of HIV patients which gives the detectives a long list of suspects. The discovery of a second body in Central Park with the same signature shifts the focus to a serial killer; however, the trail leads to a man who has no knowledge of the crimes but has a distant connection to the doctor and her husband.
Ep.5 Disappearing Acts
Air Date: 2002-10-25
The detectives respond to a brutal rape only to have the victim taken into custody by federal agents on racketeering charges. The investigation leads them to a father-son duo who are in the federal witness protection program and an agent who appears bound and determined to protect them, regardless of consequence, so they can testify against the Russian mob.
Air Date: 2002-11-01
The body of a battered young boy found in a luggage compartment of an airport shuttle bus sends the detectives to his guardian who was discovered to be a pedophile only to find his corpse in bed with his genitals removed. The subsequent investigation leads them to a travel agency specializing in exotic trips for sexual predators.
Air Date: 2002-11-08
When the decomposing body of sexually molested five-year-old girl is discovered, Detectives Benson and Stabler's investigation leads them to the painful reality that they are searching for a serial pedophile as they race to save the life of his latest victim. As the mother of the missing girl frantically awaits news of her daughter's whereabouts, she must reconcile the fact that her own recent bout with addiction may have played a part in her daughter's fate.
Air Date: 2002-11-15
The investigation into the rape of a comatose woman leads to a doctor whose stem cell research is funded by a billionaire with Parkinson's disease who is desperate for a cure.
Air Date: 2002-11-22
A cancer patient who was growing marijuana in her apartment is found raped and murdered, sending the detectives on a hunt for two junior-high students, each blaming the other. The prosecution team is faced with the dilemma of trying the older boy as an adult, despite evidence that he was not mentally capable of being able to carry out the crimes.
Air Date: 2002-12-06
When a fourteen year old girl is saved from jumping in front of a train, SVU is called in to help her. She falsely accuses an ex-boyfriend of raping her, but when the search turns to her dysfunctional family, surprise discoveries are made. From an overly helpful father, mysterious children, an overaffectionate little girl, a bracelet, and finally sperm from two men who never raped, SVU discovers that the family is even worse off than they thought. [ Recap available. ]
Air Date: 2003-01-10
When a six-year-old girl who was critically in an apparent robbery gone bad later dies and is found to have tested positive for a sexually transmitted disease, detectives investigate the family, the store clerk, and the son of a prominent attorney who had appeared to foil the crime. After evidence turns up that the little girl's older sister was dating the alleged sexual predator, Cabot has to work some legal magic to erradicate the deal that had been made with the older sister for her testimony. [ Recap available. ]
Air Date: 2003-01-17
An infant overdoses on cocaine mixed in the baby food and the detectives arrest a suspect. Upon receiving resistence from Internal Affairs, the entire squad goes undercover to flush out a drug ring run by dirty cops. [ Recap available. ]
Air Date: 2003-01-24
In their investigation of a prisoner's death, Benson and Tutuola learn that he was assaulted before being incarcerated.
Air Date: 2003-01-31
When the body of a baby girl is found inside a cooler, the detectives need to investigate just who she is, and how she got there. They soon learn that the little girl had a genetic disorder known as Tay-Sachs disease, and that her name is Sarah Brown, and she is the only daughter of Andrea and Daniel Brown. When Andrea admits to having killed her daughter, Alex has to put aside her own feelings of sympathy to prosecute Andrea Brown for the murder of her daughter.
Air Date: 2003-02-07
The brutal rape, and subsequent death, of a female motorist turns out to be an informant for the FBI acting as a cyber vigilante for catching on-line pedophiles to capture the predators. Stabler, along with the homicide detective who found the victim's husband murdered, follow the trail of evidence for the latest victim she had been tracking, leading them to the US Attorney's Office and a trip to Prague for Stabler to assist the Czech authorities when they find the kidnapped girl.
Air Date: 2003-02-14
A Tibetan woman who was tortured in her home country is found murdered, with her foot missing, and after an exhaustive search of potential suspects, the killer is a victim of torture himself.
Air Date: 2003-02-21
Detectives Benson and Stabler are called to a crime scene – a young woman dressed in a maid's uniform has apparently committed suicide. But there's lots of sexual related bruising so they question whether she was pushed and if she was raped.
Air Date: 2003-03-14
After a young boy witnesses the brutal sexual assault and murder of his stepmother, his father blocks the efforts of the detectives to question him.
Air Date: 2003-03-28
The body of an eight year old beauty pageant contestant is found on a bus, leading the detectives to a paroled sex offender convicted in Florida who played out the crime on a virtual-pronography website, which results in Cabot putting the owner of the web hosting company on trial for facilitation of murder.
Air Date: 2003-04-04
A quadruple homicide with sexual overtones is just the start of an intense rampage of killings that brings a homicide detective into the mix. As the entire squad races against time to prevent further victims, the evidence lead Tutuola and Deuthorn to a building superintendent, his two sons and a cross to bear.
Air Date: 2003-04-18
Benson and Stabler try to prove self-defense when a rape victim kills her attacker. Events take an unusual turn when they find out that the victim is a pre-operative transvestite.
Air Date: 2003-04-25
After arresting a man accused of raping several neighborhood women, Detectives Benson and Stabler attempt to obtain an indictment for their suspect with the help of a key eyewitness - his last victim. However, the suspect's decision to handle his own defense casts some doubt over the trial's outcome as he proves to be a formidable opponent for A.D.A. Cabot.
Air Date: 2003-05-02
A dead girl is found outside a bar. The death, however, is ruled a suicide (because the victim's boyfriend continually raped her), but the victim's father snaps on the side and vows revenge against his daughter's rapist.
Air Date: 2003-05-09
A murdered 14-year-old girl leads the detectives to a prominent physician who specialises in reproduction therapy.
Air Date: 2003-05-16
After a rape victim is abducted from the hospital and later found murdered, the detectives discover that one of the multiple suspects is a sociopath with a juvenile conviction for rape, torture and murder.