'Law & Order: SVU': Benson Pushed to Breaking Point in Twisted Rape Case

This week's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit truly tested the resolve of Lt. Olivia Benson as a woman's claim she was raped by a therapist turned into the uncovering of a serial rapist.

"Dearly Beloved" kicked off with Dr. Joshua Hensley (T.J. Thyne) getting married to Lana Stallworth (Maureen Sebastian). When the pastor asked if anyone had any reason why they should not be married, Kitty Bennett (Shiri Appleby) stood up to accuse Hensley of raping her. The pastor called the SVU team, who arrived at the church to begin their investigation.

Bennett told Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Rollins (Kelli Gidish) that the rape happened during her first therapy session with Hensley. She claims that Hensley began acting inappropriately when she was crying about missing her mother. Bennett said Hensley forced himself onto her.

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(Photo: NBC)

Carisi (Peter Scanavino) interrogated Hensley, who claimed he never saw Bennett before. Hensley insisted he never cheated on Lana and asked Carisi and Rollins to prove his innocence.

When Carisi and Rollins went to the medical suite where Hensley has an office, they found Hensley's name was not in the book. Amazingly, Hannah (Poppy Liu), a patient also in the book, claimed Bennett was stalking her on Instagram.

During the investigation, Rollins and Carisi discovered that Bennett has a shady past. One man even filed for a restraining order after Bennett started stalking his girlfriend. When Benson confronted Bennett about this, she had excuses for the other cases. But Bennett still said the rape was real, even though there was no record of an appointment with Hensley.

Later, Hensley revealed he was getting texts with pictures of nude women. Stallworth and Hensley also revealed that someone created a dating profile in his name and broke into their apartment. When Benson and Rollins went to Bennett with this information, she could not believe they were accusing her of these things. Then, Bennett revealed she was pregnant and believes it is Hensley's baby.

Afterwards, Bennett made it clear to Benson that she was not going to keep the baby. But Benson suggested she might want to rethink that. Bennett's nonchalant attitude about it all, shocked Benson to the point she needed a breather. Benson told Rollins that Bennett's comments reminded her of a time she overheard her mother ask someone how she could love someone conceived by a monster.

In a stunning development, the DNA test proved Hensley is the father. This forced Hensley to admit he had consensual sex with Bennett three times. He revealed that Bennett was never her patient and they met at a bar. Benson did not believe any of this, but Hensley said Bennett gave her a key to the apartment. While the key did not match, security footage confirmed he visited Bennett's apartment... but did not need a key to get in! The video showed Bennett kissing Hensley in the doorway.

Rollins and Benson showed Bennett the footage, which put her in a corner. She changed her story again. This time, she said the rape happened at the beginning of their relationship. He told her she had intimacy issues and she wanted a "rape fantasy" fulfilled. The grief from her mother's death was masking her real problems, he claimed. They later broke up, and discovered Hensley was engaged on Instagram.

Stallworth later showed up at the precinct to tell Benson how her relationship with Hensley started. She said she was his patient at one point. Benson asked if anything they did were things she liked. Stallworth even said Hensley was "dominant" in the bedroom. She claimed she liked it, too, but Benson clearly understood that wasn't the case.

That night, Bennett held Hensley hostage with a broken bottle to his neck, with Stallworth in the room. While Bennett pressed Hensley to tell the truth about their relationship, Stallworth cried out that Bennett should kill him. Stallworth said Hensley told her she had a rape fantasy and he raped her, too. Everyone was shocked, and Bennett dropped the bottle before collapsing in Benson's arms.

At the precinct, Stallworth opened up to Rollins about the details of being raped by Hensley. The next day, Hensley showed up to her apartment with flowers. Rollins told her she would have to testify against Hensley, and she agreed, noting how Hensley told her the same things he told Bennett.

Benson confronted Hensley, who insisted his one-time future wife would not testify against him. But Benson told him Stallworth was already before a grand jury. He conned the women into thinking he was giving them what they wanted.

"You are done, doctor," Benson told him to his face. "Ya done."

A few days later, Bennett told Benson she was talking to a therapist who has been helpful. She also said she felt the baby kick for the first time and was no longer thinking about getting an abortion.

"Even though your baby was conceived in an act of violence, your baby is innocent," Benson said. "And deserves to be unconditionally loved."


SVU airs Thursdays on NBC at 10 p.m. ET.

Photo credit: NBC