Kimberly "Kim" Garnet was a 15-year-old high school student and girlfriend to Steve Walker. It was later discovered that Steve had been physically abusing her for months, though she kept this a secret from her friends and family, knowing that he would kill her if she told anyone. In 2009, she texted nude pictures of herself ("sexting") to Steve's phone (it's strongly implied that Steve forced her to take the pictures as well as send them). But, in the process, she accidentally sent a copy to her friend, Ethan Morse, who had a crush on her. Realizing this, she went to his house in Little Neck to explain things, but Steve followed her and thought she was cheating on him. In retaliation, he beat her up after she left Ethan's house and stole her cell phone.
Using it, he then sent copies of the pictures to several other students at school to humiliate Kim as well as keep her quiet. He also copied off his number to her own to make sure that no one would know that he sent them. Shortly thereafter, Kim fell down a flight of stairs at school, leaving her in a coma. Her doctor, Dr. Manning, noticed her previous injuries and called Detectives Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson.
After learning of her texting the pictures to both Steve and Ethan, detectives suspected one of them of beating her. Although Kim regained counsciousness, she refused to identify Steve as her abuser out of fear, simply saying that she fell.
Kim herself was then charged by Family Court Counselor Samantha Copeland with distribution of child pornography in order to coerce her into identifying her abuser, much to the anger of the SVU detectives, especially Olivia. However, Copeland's actions make Kim lose all trust the detectives had manage to gain from her and she refused to cooperate. The day before she was to appear in court, Steve beat her up again to keep her from naming him, breaking her arm in the process. Between the attack, Steve's threats and Copeland's continuing harassment, Kim completely shut down emotionally and remained silent in court about her attacker's identity. Judge Hilda Marsden then held her in contempt and put her in lock up for the night.
Fed up with Copeland's methods causing more harm than good, Olivia and Kim's attorney, Miranda Pond, bring Elliot's daughter, Kathleen Stabler to speak with her. The three women encourage Kim, telling her that keeping quiet won't make her problems stop. Kathleen encourages her further, telling Kim about her own problems caused by her bipolar disorder as well as the realization that she would never be safe unless she took her life back.
With renewed confidence, Kim finally admits to the events, stating that Steve is the one who's been abusing her and the one who stole her cellphone, which led to the events with the pictures. With her testimony in place, Steve is arrested and Copeland was ready to drop the charges. However, Judge Marsden denies the file for dismissal. Before Copeland or Pond could protest, Marsden still found Kim guilty of producing and distributing child pornography and sentenced her to the Wellsburg Facility for Juvenile Sex Offenders in Wellsburg, Ohio for a year long imprisonment, completely stunning Olivia, Copeland, Pond and Kim's parents.
As she is led out, a shattered Kim angrily blames Olivia, Copeland and Pond for her fate, saying that she had trusted them and instead they had turned around and used her just like Steve did. She also states that she now sees nothing will ever make her feel safe again, least of all "telling the truth".
Thankfully for her - and the youth of New York - Benson and Pond refuse to simply accept this outcome. They quickly decide to investigate further - though they are unable to enlist the ADA in their effort - only to be stonewalled while seeking Marsden's records and brought before the judge, who, after all but sticking her tongue out at Kim's defenders in a self-righteous, boastful defense of her punishments, has them jailed for contempt of court - Benson for "mocking" her, Pond for nothing more than pointing out that, since their conversation was explicitly off-the-record, she had no right to do so. This would turn out to be Kim's salvation, once Copeland learns of the illegal arrests: while one draconian sentence was not enough to turn her against the judge, locking up would-be investigators on bogus charges before they could see her previous sentences is another matter entirely. Concluding that there must be something in the judge's records that she couldn't afford to let the officer and lawyer see, Copeland looks them up herself, and is shocked to discover that, at the very least, Kim is the 52nd teen Judge Marsden had sent to Wellsburg for false felony sex offenses, not one of whom was initially charged with an offense severe enough to be sent there - her cousin is the chief administrator in charge of the facility, and in exchange for every new prisoner under her name, Mardsen received large financial kickbacks.
After the stonewalling clerk is arrested and confesses to the scheme and his own role in it, Mardsen, having accepted a bribe from a father (Detective Stabler undercover) to punish his daughter's boyfriend (Ethan also undercover), is arrested in her own courtroom in a sting arranged by the SVU, Pond, Copeland and Dr. Huang. Marsden falsely claims that her sentence depravities made her a hero, not a criminal but is escorted out and permanently disbarred and imprisoned for life. Kim's conviction was immediately vacated by the chief administrative judge and her record of the false charges completely expunged, allowing her to begin a new life with her parents and Ethan. (SVU: "Crush")