Law and Order
"Imprisoned Lives"
SVU, Episode 15.02
Production number: 15002
First aired (US): 25 September 2013
First aired (UK): 27 October 2013
First aired (CAN): 25 September 2013
First aired (AUS): 10 October 2013
  th of 502 produced in SVU  
th of 502 released in SVU
  th of 1271 released in all  
SVU15 02.jpg
Written By
Julie Martin & Warren Leight

Directed By
Michael Slovis

An abandoned child leads the SVU to a dangerous kidnapper and more victims.


A young boy is abandoned in Times Square and leads the detectives to the house where his family lives. Inside, they find a locked basement where more victims await rescue, and work to solve decades-old cold cases.


A young boy named Buddy and his father walked through Times Square. Buddy is amazed by the mascot and stops to talk with. His father is upset by him getting away and argues with the mascot. However, the father is forced to leave him behind after a police officer spotted them.

Nick and Benson have Buddy direct them to the house. One of the neighbors reveals that the man is Tony Minetti the son of the owner. After busting through the house, the detectives go to the basement where they find cages where women are being held captive.

After rescuing the women, they proceed to question other residents if they have seen anything out of the ordinary at the house. The neighbors revealed that they never thought Tony’s behavior was odd and how they used to see the boy all the time. One of them even speculates about how Buddy may even be his son with one of the captives.

At the precinct, Buddy identifies some of the hostages as the members of his family.

The detectives proceed to track down Tony Minetti but he reveals that he was estranged from his mother for decades due to his sexuality. The detectives realize that someone has been masquerading as him for years.

Much later, they interview one of the parents of another captive named Kayla Greyland who are relieved to hear that the daughter was alive. Shortly after, Fin reports that one of the girls has been found and is on the news. The girl reveals she is Kayla and proceeds to reveal how she was kidnapped and wants to see her family. At the hospital, Kayla is reunited with her parents and she reveals how she was snatched up and tortured over the last few years. It is also revealed that Kayla is the biological mother of Buddy who is unaware of this. She does not know the name of her abuser who went by Pa and his accomplice Ma while Kayla was called Sissy.

Soon Nick and Tutuola are called into a restaurant about a case with Ma who was abandoned by Pa. The employees reveal he thought that Kayla and the older couple were family but realized otherwise when the older woman would not leave.

When Rollins and Benson interrogate her, she shows no remorse until Benson nearly causes Ma to break down for her actions and Cragen has to recuse her. Benson later speaks with Kayla and her talk inspires her to go at Ma again. After getting through to her, Ma does not give the real name of Pa but does give her name April Hendricks who was a troubled youth.

Further research reveals April was helped by her janitor Michael Williams. Williams was hinted to be involved in the disappearance of April but was not arrested. They tracked Michael to his new job as a maintenance worker at another school. The detectives are told that Michael was on sick leave for his injury and tells them where he lives.

The Detectives tracked down Michael at his official residence, where Michael’s wife tells them that he was spending time with his other sons, and he is arrested.

In the precinct, Michael defends his actions of raping the girls and stating he did not kill Angel Minetti who was unaware of his activities and he cashed in her checks. He soon reveals that he is indeed the father of Buddy and kidnapped the other women in a misguided belief of saving them.

The Detectives are disgusted that he did this and ask Barba not to prosecute Hendricks because she was clearly suffering from Stockholm syndrome, Barba understands and says she suffered enough. However, Barba says Williams has not suffered yet and vows to ensure that he does not see the light of day ever again.

Kayla and Buddy are returned to the house of Kayla’s parents. Kayla reveals that she wants her son to have a new life and wishes that he can be normal, to which Benson wishes her luck.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast



Cragen (to Olivia): It was too soon for you to come back to SVU.

Olivia (to Cragen): If you can't trust me, then I'm done.

Olivia: You know what I've seen is that people who have gone through unfair, horrific experiences is that they have this will. And when they get support; a chance, they can not only survive, they can thrive.

Barba: [regarding Williams] But this guy there's not enough suffering on the Earth for him. He's never going to see the light of day again.

Background information and notes

  • Rick Lyon, best known as original cast member and puppet builder behind the award-winning musical Avenue Q, makes an appearance as the man in the Times Square Mo-Mo costume.
  • The character Mo-Mo is most likely based on one of the muppets from the children's TV series Sesame Street, most likely Elmo or Grover.

Episode scene cards

1 2 3 4

Times Square
46th Street and Broadway
Tuesday, July 30

Pulaski Bridge
Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Tuesday, July 30

Home of
Scott and Faith Greyland
Poconos, Pennsylvania
Wednesday, July 31

St. Horatio's
Parochial School
1121 Lorimer Street
Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Friday, August 2

Previous episode:
"Surrender Benson"
"Imprisoned Lives"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 15
Next episode:
"American Tragedy"
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