SVU, Episode 7.03
Production number: 07007
First aired: 4 October 2005
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Benson Cragen 911
Written By
Patrick Harbinson

Directed By
Ted Kotcheff


A distraught girl calls 911 and claims she's trapped in a room. After further investigation, Det. Benson discovers she's a child pornography victim.


Benson is on her way out for the evening when a call comes in from a little girl who says she's locked in a room alone.

Stabler is in Brooklyn working on a case, and Fin is out looking for Ricardo Garcia. While trying to draw the girl out, Benson is drawn deeper into the little girl's life; although the other officers begin to suspect the whole thing may be some sick joke when they find holes in her story. But Benson is convinced that the little girl, Maria, is the real deal. By talking to Maria, Benson is able to ferret enough information from her so that they have a place to start, but Maria's captor has an affinity for electronics and has done everything he can to make sure that no one can find the little girl he has kidnapped.

Attempts to trace the call fail as the perpetrator has made it so the call bounces all over the place through a virus in the system and the clues the girl is able to give them lead the detectives to a burned-down restaurant. Also, the girl has been reported as dead, but when Benson has a picture sent of her, she recognizes her from a pornography website form Montreal SVU had been warned about. The girl claims her mother is dead and Benson puts together the fact that the girl was sold by a relative as a slave and was apparently told her mother had died while the mother was told the same about her.

Finally, with the help of an FBI agent, the virus is removed from the system and all Maria has to do to be found is call 911 again, but she falls asleep and the kidnapper finds her on the phone with the cops. The cops realize there's an electronics store across the street from the destroyed restaurant and due to the kidnapper's affinity for electronics, realize he could own it and bought the mug the girl was using as a clue from the restaurant in the past. The detectives search the store and find the girl's prison, but no sign of her, but catch the kidnapper outside when Benson recognizes his glasses from the girl's description. They capture him, but he refuses to give up the girl's location. Finding dirt on his shoes, they realize he could have easily buried her in the lot across the street and dig there and find the girl, not breathing. Benson manages to revive her, and Benson and the girl finally meet face to face.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast



  • Benson: [on the phone] Maria, wake up, Maria ... Maria?
  • Richard: Who is this?
  • Benson: This is the police. We know exactly where you are.
  • Richard: [teasingly] No, you don't. [hangs up the phone]

  • Benson: (while she pins down Richard) You know where she is. Now if she dies, I promise I will make the rest of your life hell.

Benson: [about Maria] Nobody would invent the nightmare that she has been through! Why are you trying to poke holes in her story rather than trying to find her, because Munch found some spook toy?!
Captain Cragen: Whoever's doing this likes spook toys. He's already using at least one device.

[Fin approaches Munch and Benson looking at incriminating photographs of Maria]
Munch: Detective Tutuola, come and pollute your soul with some child porn, my friend.

Background information and notes

  • Mariska Hargitay won a 2006 Emmy award for "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series" for this episode.
  • This episode is one of two that Wolf Films submitted for consideration for a 2006 Emmy nomination.
  • This episode is another example of Olivia's commitment to her job and lack of a personal life. Benson had a date in this episode, but gave up her night out to stay on the phone with the little girl.
  • This is widely considered to be the best episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, mostly due to Hargitay’s Emmy win as a result of this episode.
  • Goof: When the detectives look into the parking lot at the beginning of the episode, it is all dirt. When they ram through the fence at the end, there is grass.
  • Goof: When the police cars ram the fence at the vacant lot, they stop and the fence is resting on the hoods. Then half a second later, the fence is on the ground about a yard from both cars.

Episode scene cards

1 2 3 4

Friday, September 23
5:56 PM

6:48 PM

911 Call Center
Brooklyn, New York
6:54 PM

Honduran Consulate
7:27 PM

5 6 7

7:35 PM

7:52 PM

8:19 PM

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