After a 10-year-old girl is found raped and barely alive after having her throat cut in a junkyard, the detectives must find the victim's identity, as well as her attacker. The girl's sketch of her attacker resembles the devil. Fin and Cragen head to a bodega near the crime scene, where the girl was seen wandering around before her attack. They locate the girl's missing backpack, but only find a subway card, which tells the detectives the girl must live in Staten Island. Cragen orders Fin and Stabler to start ringing doorbells.
Benson and Stabler end up at St. Adrian's Church where the pastor, Theo Berdet, identifies the young girl as Miriam, former African refugee whom the church rescued. When asked why the young girl was wandering around Harlem, they discover she was seeing Elijah, an African ex-soldier almost three times her age. Theo points out that Miriam and Elijah formed a friendship at the church, where Elijah sought refuge after escaping Africa and his life as a child soldier.
Miriam is able to use sign language and tell Benson she was visiting Elijah, but he didn't attack her. She lets Benson know Elijah can be found at Hudson University in the library, where he is taking classes. Theo and Stabler are heading over to the library, but Stabler's police car is fire bombed before they can leave. Stabler suspects Elijah of the bombing. Stabler and Benson locate Elijah and bring him in for questioning. Elijah denies any wrongdoing and swears he would never hurt Miriam.
Stabler interrogates Elijah alone about his relationship with Miriam. He swears he would never touch her and begs to be forgiven for his past as a child soldier in Africa. He starts talking about the ghosts of his victims' haunting him in his sleep. Elijah admits he's a coward and a murderer and can't escape his pain. Stabler wants to know Elijah's whereabouts the night before.
Elijah tells Stabler how Miriam told him the man who used to hold her as a sex slave in Africa was now living in New York. She spotted him at a wedding in Harlem. When she pointed him out to Elijah, Elijah swore he would murder the "devil" for harming Miriam. Stabler and Benson suspect that Miriam was found raped as a way to possibly shut her up. Stabler believes Elijah's story, but Cragen still wants proof.
Munch does some research and discovers that the building Miriam told Elijah her attacker lived in was registered to a Samuel Mbazzi, an immigrant from Uganda. Cragen warns Stabler that he can talk to the man, but he can't make any accusations until they have more evidence for their case. Fin and Stabler pay Samuel a visit, citing they are from immigration. Samuel is short with the detectives and wants to be alone. Stabler is sure Samuel is their man, but cannot do anything about it.
Cabot taps into her sources at international law for research into Samuel's past. Both she and Stabler go through photos upon photos documenting the lives of child soldiers in Africa. Stabler recognizes Samuel in a photo surrounded by other soldiers and discovers Samuel lied about his past and was really a warlord who went by the name "The Devil," and who once torched a church full of innocent people in Uganda. Stabler confronts Samuel at his job and Samuel snaps and attacks Stabler. Stabler draws his gun and arrests him.
Bret Trask of International Customs thanks Stabler personally for his hard work in bringing Samuel to their attention. Trask also asks where he can find Elijah, who has just left for choir practice with Miriam. Stabler remains confused, but the courts want to deport Elijah as well for the crimes he committed as a child soldier, since he belonged to the army past the age of 18.
Stabler is trying his best to stop the deportation of Elijah. Cabot taps into her connections at the UN, but their hands are tied, as well. Cabot informs Stabler that there is nothing more she can do for Elijah. Just then, Stabler gets a phone call with worst news: Elijah has found out about his impending deportation and has taken hostages at St. Adrian's church. Stabler is on his way.
Stabler convinces Trask to let him talk to Elijah inside the church. Elijah is in hysterics, waving his gun around at his hostages, most of them children, including Miriam. Stabler convinces Elijah to let the children go, he reluctantly agrees. Fin ushers all the children out of the church. Elijah refuses to let Theo or Stabler out of the church and tells them he won't shoot them, but he will kill himself.
Theo and Stabler try to talk Elijah into surrendering his gun. Elijah wants to know why he shouldn't kill himself. He is guilty of all the crimes he committed and he should be punished. His God never tried to save him or any of the other child soldiers in Africa. Theo clutches his chest in pain and Stabler tells Elijah he needs a doctor immediately.
Elijah listens to Stabler and gives up his gun. Stabler walks both Theo and Elijah out of church, where S.W.A.T. teams have their guns drawn. Elijah is about to surrender, but after spotting all the press, he makes a run for it and is shot. Miriam runs to his side, where he whispers his final words to her before dying.
Stabler asks Miriam what Elijah's last words were. She tells Stabler that Elijah wanted to die to bring the story of child soldiers to the attention of the press. Stabler is later joined by Theo back at the SVU, where Stabler wants answers. Theo encourages Stabler to continue praying until somebody listens.