SVU, Episode 5.07
Production number: E4411
First aired: 4 November 2003
  th of 476 produced in SVU  
th of 476 released in SVU
  th of 1229 released in all  
Jennifer Fulton Benson Choice
Written By
Patrick Harbinson

Directed By
David Platt


After Jennifer Fulton is found assaulted in a bar, she first accuses a young male of attacking her, but then it is revealed that her husband, Craig attacked her. When Jennifer reveals that she is pregnant and wants an abortion, Craig drags his wife into court to stop it, but even though she wins, Jennifer decides to keep her child, and Olivia, concerned with Jennifer's alcoholism tries to convince her to get help, but then soon discovers that Jennifer had a child who is stricken with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and is mentally damaged from it. Craig takes Jennifer to court again and after the state of her first child is discovered, she is ordered to not drink and get counseling. After Jennifer defies the court's orders not to drink, Olivia has no choice but to arrest her for contempt of court, but then contemplates on whether or not she made the right decision as Craig is doing it all to harass Jennifer. At trial, Jennifer and her attorney argue that she was drinking because of stress while Novak argues that pregnancy is stress that will not go away and she must be locked in a facility to ensure she gets treatment. Jennifer is found not guilty of contempt of court, though she is reminded that the original ruling still stands and she must still receive counseling for her drinking. Benson later finds her outside her daughter's house and Jennifer understands that the jury found her not guilty as they didn't want to lock her up, but that she is guilty as she damaged her first child Lily and potentially damaged the one that she is carrying now. With Benson's encouragement, Jennifer goes to meet and talk to Lily and presumably quits drinking as she now understands the consequences of it.


Episode summary


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast



Balthus: (holds up a sandwich) Why isn't this in an evidence bag?
O'Halloran: Because it's my lunch.

Olivia Benson: Did you know that in just one night of drinking, fetal alcohol syndrome can set in?
Elliot Stabler: I didn't know that.
Olivia Benson: If your wife got pregnant again, would you allow it?
Elliot Stabler: If Kathy got pregnant again, I'd shoot myself.

Elliot Stabler: You know, we know some places, if you want some counseling...
Jennifer Fulton: (drunk and still drinking) I don't need counseling!

Casey Novak: (about Lorna Scarry, the lawyer she is recommending for Jennifer Fulton) I've been up against her twice. (She beams.) She wiped the floor with me both times.

Lorna Scarry: Congratulations, Ms. Novak, you've got your cops hauling pregnant women out of their homes in the midlde of night.

Casey Novak: Detective Benson showed a concern for Mrs. Fulton above and beyond the call of duty Jennifer Fulton: I'm sitting here becuase of her concern for me.

Background information and notes

  • Kathrine Roberts, who played Lily in this episode, has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.[1]
  • Goof: It takes at least 10 minutes to get the results of a paint match from a GC/MS. The less-than-a-minute result seen in this episode is virtually impossible.
  • When Olivia asks Elliot what he would do if Kathy had another baby, he responds that he would shoot himself. His son Eli would be born a few years later.

References (Sources)


Episode scene cards

1 2 3 4

Fulton Residence
163 West 84th Street
Monday, October 27

Office of
Assistant District Attorney
Casey Novak
Tuesday, October 28

Trial Part 38
Wednesday, October 29

Fetal Alcohol
Syndrome Center
278 West 18th Street
Wednesday, October 29

5 6 7 8

Family Court
Part 82
Thursday, October 30

Apartment of
Melody Dunne
21 East 39th Street
Thursday, October 30

Fulton Apartment
163 West 84th Street
Friday, October 31

Trial Part 74
Monday, November 3

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