A police car camera films an unusual arrest: Coast Guard royalty Amelia Albers, belligerently drunk and covered in cuts and bruises. Special Victims Unit is called in on suspicion of rape and assault, which is confirmed by the hospital's test results. Amelia initially is uncooperative because drunk and disorderly conduct will result in dishonorable discharge, despite her father being a Coast Guard admiral.
Eventually, Amelia admits she was raped by two Mexican kitchen workers at a bar. Following a recruiting presentation, she and three Coast Guard buddies drank at the Sea Horse Bar and Grill, but she left them during the night to dance with the kitchen staff. Seamen Scott Graver, John Wooten and Peter Lipitt corroborate her dancing story, admitting they tried to take her car keys and cut off her drinking. Regardless of the crimes done to her, Amelia's commanding officer, William Taverts, indicates the severity of public intoxication and ditching the "off-base buddy system" lands her in seriously hot water. Her poor judgment can't be reconciled by her father's illustrious career.
The unit scopes out the bar, but there are multiple possible crime scenes. Both cooks deny raping Amelia, stating they did dance with her but left work before her and her military buddies departed. Amelia picks out the cooks' pictures from a digital lineup, but doesn't want to continue with the case and accuse potentially innocent people. Benson and Rollins become concerned with her story - is she protecting fellow officers? Details start pouring from Amelia: drunken make-out session with colleagues, one officer had a hand up her skirt, got her drunk and took turns, no surveillance at the bar...
Not surprisingly, Taverts has sent all three officers to the Somalia coast for training. Only Barba's grand jury subpoena brings the officers back and pulls their DNA. All the men argue Amelia wanted rough sex: Lipitt used a condom since he was married, Wooten was unprotected, and Graver only held her hands behind her back. That leaves one unaccounted semen sample.
Two Coast Guard officers arrest Amelia for disorderly conduct, fraternization and adultery. Lipitt, her junior, is married and therefore the "mutual" consent sex between them is considered adultery. Commander Taverts feels terrible she's being charged, especially since he served under her father, but the Coast Guard only knows Amelia's offenses. It's SVU's burden to discover the men's potential crimes.
With her father's encouragement, Amelia admits that there was a fourth rapist: Commander Taverts. He told her she needed his help to move up rank, and when Amelia said no, Taverts lost it. No one says no to a commanding officer.
Amelia's day in court finally arrives, but it's hardly the sweeping victory they wanted. The defense lawyer shoots holes in Amelia's story - she's "conveniently" changed details to skirt punishment for her own crimes. After drinking at a bar after court, Amaro rushes in with papers from Amelia's confidential military trial hearing that he acquired from his ex-wife. Before he can spit out details, Barba shuts him down. Knowing those details, any confidential details, would force a mistrial. Whoever gave Amaro those papers was trying to poison the well. Amaro is off the trial, but he tips off Benson and Rollins to closely scrutinize Seaman Graver...
Graver is clearly thrown off by Benson and Rollins re-questioning. His story has held up so far, but when Benson continues probing, he admits he's gay and was raped by fellow officers a year ago. Taverts, his commanding officer, told him to "man up and shut up" in order to stay in the Coast Guard. Summoning his courage, Graver testifies in court that Amelia's rape was a setup to teach her to respect her commanding officer. After he raped her, Taverts offered "sloppy seconds" to the other officers. Taverts knew Graver was gay and threatened to reveal his secret to everyone if he didn't cooperate with the rape.
Lipitt, Wooten and Taverts are all found guilty of rape and assault. All charges against Amelia are dropped since she agrees to an honorable discharge. Despite her former pride in her military legacy, Amelia is happy to leave the Coast Guard - she'll never go back.
The SVU team experiences obstacles while solving a Coast Guard rape.