A girl is in a room in a sleazy motel, and she receives a text which reads "I'm on my way." Meanwhile outside the motel, a boy shoots up. The girl is joined by a mysterious man, who proceeds to choke her to death. The boy leaves the scene in his car before the police arrive. Benson and Stabler talk to the desk clerk, who claims that the girl paid in cash and came to the motel alone, but she was expecting someone else to join her. The room was in the name "A.J. Gold."
Warner sees that the victim was raped, sodomized, and then strangled. The victim can't have been a prostitute because she doesn't look like one, and also she seems to have struggled against her killer. There is evidence of blood in her mouth which is not hers. Fin says that pics of the murder victim have been leaked onto the Internet, and those photos were not police photos. They were taken hours before the police arrived. The desk clerk confesses that he took the photos and sold them to a website. He also says that he didn't kill her. He was alerted to the scene after another guest complained that they heard screaming coming from A.J.'s room. The desk clerk also stole A.J.'s cell phone. When the detectives point out a really bad cut in the clerk's arm, the clerk says that he got it from cooking heroin.
Using the cell phone, the detectives get in touch with two of A.J.'s friends. They speak to the girls, and they say that A.J. was looking for an older man to have sex with. However, she wasn't a prostitute. A.J. also told them that her father molested her. This leads the detectives to talk to A.J.'s parents. Terri, her mother, didn't realize that A.J. was going around saying that Greg (her father) molested her. A.J. and her dad didn't have a good relationship, however, and they were always arguing. In fact, there was a huge blow up between them right before A.J. died. Greg arrives at the Dunne home, and his shirt is stained with blood. The detectives immediately arrest him for the rape and murder of his daughter.
In Interrogation, Greg claims that he did not kill his daughter. Terri says that A.J. was put in a youth treatment facility called A Sheltered Place for her oppositional defiant disorder. A Sheltered Place (ASP) is run by a man named Martin Gold. Terri fully believes that Gold had the ability to help her daughter, but Greg says that Gold lies in order to keep his facility running. Gold had told A.J. that she was troubled because her father molested her, and A.J. was starting to believe it. Someone left a flyer on the windshield of Greg's car with a picture of Gold and A.J., and the text at the bottom read: "Martin Gold is raping your daughter". Greg went to confront Gold about this and they got into a fight, where Gold stabbed Greg with a pen. Greg was arrested, and had just returned from jail to the news that his daughter is dead. Greg thinks that Gold killed A.J.
The detectives go to ASP to speak with Gold, and they arrive in the middle of one of Gold's speeches to the teens. The teens leave, and they all tell Gold that they love him. Gold says he doesn't want to press charges against Greg. Stabler gives Gold the flyer from Greg's car, and Gold claims that the picture was faked. He has an alibi for the time of A.J.'s murder: he was at the shelter and he has the survelliance tapes to prove it. But when the detectives ask for the tapes, Gold says no. He claims not to know why A.J. signed for a room with "A.J. Gold".
Cabot, angry that the detectives weren't able to get at the tapes, issues a warrant so that they can confiscate them. But when they go over the tapes, they see that Gold was telling the truth. ASP's website is fairly popular, and their motto is "We diminish the power of unwanted thought and impulses by embracing them." Stabler and Benson are very concerned about Gold's methods, but Cragen argues that Gold's success rate is 83%. The detectives also have to be careful around the facility because the daughter of Deputy Mayor for Legal Affairs is currently a patient of Gold's.
Morales figures out that the picture of Gold and A.J. was Photoshopped. But from the tapes, he also discovers that A.J. was staying overnight at ASP, and Gold's facility isn't legally set up as a live-in shelter. The detectives speak to A.J.'s parents and they say that they let their daughter stay at the facility because Gold claimed it would be easier to help her.
Munch finds out that A.J.'s credit card was just used in Little Italy. Warner notices that the blood in A.J.'s mouth contains trances of drugs used to treat Hepatitis C. The detectives aim to talk to the desk clerk at the motel again but then they see a boy in the morgue, near A.J.'s body. The boy, Enzo, tries to run away but is caught. Fin tracks down and arrests the suspect who used the credit card, Ramsey Vickers. Enzo thinks that A.J.'s death was his fault. Meanwhile, Vickers is extremely nervous and wants to talk to a lawyer first. But when Cragen comes in, Vickers suddenly collapses and is taken to the hospital.
Vickers is suffering serious side effects because of a bite on his penis. A.J. apparently bit down on him as he molested her, which means that he's the one who killed her. He says that he didn't intend to kill A.J., and that he met her through a Craigslist ad.
The detectives bring up A.J.'s ad, which states that she's looking for an older man whom she could pretend to be her father as she slept with him. Enzo is also one of Gold's patients, and he was at ASP to be treated for heroin addiction. He met A.J. and they fell in love. However, they had to keep their relationship a secret because Gold forbids patients to date each other. Enzo was the one who Photoshopped the picture, but he knew for sure that Gold was raping A.J. to help her get over her fears. On the day A.J. was killed, Enzo had followed her to the hotel room, but he chickened out and ran away so he wasn't able to help her. Stabler asks if Enzo would agree to testify in court against Gold, and Enzo says yes.
Huang believes that Enzo would be more beneficial to their case if he has the heroin out of his system, and he also believes that Gold is taking advantage of troubled teenagers in order to entertain himself. Benson and Stabler arrest Gold right in the middle of a therapy session, but during interrogation, Gold is confident that the jury won't believe Enzo's testimony.
The detectives ask Cabot to press charges against Gold, but Cabot hesitates, since the only testimony they'd have is from a drug addict. Huang tells the detectives about a new type of medication which can cure heroin addiction in 24 hours. If they got Enzo this treatment, then he could testify clean. The drug hasn't been approved yet in the US, however. The police have to let Gold go, and since he has legal custody of Enzo, he takes the boy too. Benson and Stabler suspect that Gold is supplying Enzo with drugs so that he wouldn't be able to take the stand.
Huang finds Gold's file on Enzo and then takes the boy from the shelter. Benson tells him that what he's doing is illegal, but Huang doesn't think he has a choice. He brings Enzo to get the drug, after convincing the boy that this is the only way that he'll get better. Later at ASP, Enzo asks Gold to forgive him for what he did with Huang. Enzo asks Gold for more drugs and Gold willingly hands out some to him. The detectives then arrest Gold for drug possession and distribution and as an accessory to murder.
Enzo, now free of the addiction, is fine to take the stand. Huang turns himself in for his law-breaking, and he gets his medical license suspended for 30 days, which he thinks is a very small price to pay.