Season 17 Episode 9
Catfishing turns deadly when a sexting teacher and a high school wrestling coach put their students' lives in a full nelson.
High school teacher Phoebe Burnap has sex with students Travis and Jordan - teammates on the school wrestling team - in exchange for better grades. When the team's uncool equipment manager, Zach, gets a sext from Phoebe with an invite out of town for winter break, he excitedly agrees to meet her at the train station, telling his divorced mother he'll be with his father for winter break. But when Zach's mother doesn't hear from him after his supposed flight lands, SVU gets involved.
Dodds (Andy Karl), Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Carisi (Peter Scanavino) track down Burnap to a ski lodge in Vermont, where they find her and her husband - no Zach. When Dodds questions Zach's friend Jordan about Phoebe, he reveals he asked wrestling coach Basinski to help stop Phoebe's advances. Basinski needed proof, so Jordan gave him a sexy photo Phoebe texted him. Basinski, seeing Zach as easy prey, uses the sexy photo of Phoebe to lure Zach to the train station and take him to his house where he roofies him.
Dodds and Carisi arrive at Basinski's home too late to find Coach and Zach, but find photos of past wrestling students, all taken at the same wooded cabin in Pennsylvania. Are they just photos, or perhaps trophies of past victims? Nat, a former wrestling student, denies having been to the cabin despite being photographed there, but says he has heard of it and gives Carisi and Dodds a key clue in finding the cabin. When they enter the cabin, they find Zach, drugged and unconscious, and Basinski, who insists he did nothing wrong.
Returning to New York, Zach refuses a rape kit, and although he admits to being sexually assaulted, his parents won't let him testify for fear of ridicule. ADA Kenneth O'Dwyer (Robert Sean Leonard) tells SVU there's no case without a student testimony. After getting shut down by every other assaulted former wrestling student, SVU is stunned when Nat brings a video of a beaten and tortured Coach Basinski confessing to raping past students, including Zach and Nat. Dodds and Fin (Ice T) enter Basinski's basement to find him bleeding out and barely conscious. He dies en route to the hospital, and Nat is happy to go down for the murder.