"Decaying Morality"
SVU, Episode 16.13
Production number: 16013
First aired: 4 February 2015
  th of 476 produced in SVU  
th of 476 released in SVU
  th of 1229 released in all  
Written By
Kevin Fox & Brianna Yellen

Directed By
Michael Pressman

Two families are left to pick up the pieces of their lives when a rape case goes terribly wrong.


Benson and Rollins find a teenaged girl crying in the street, her clothes torn. Jenna Davis says she was raped in a pizzeria bathroom by Jerome Jones. Jones has a criminal record as well as a pending lawsuit against the NYPD, but with little evidence to go on, the SVU releases him until an arrest can be made. With emotions running high, Jenna's father takes the law into his own hands with a decision that will change their lives forever.


Episode summary


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast


Episode references


Rollins: Look, I am so sorry for what I put you all through.
Olivia: No, Amanda. I'm sorry for what you put yourself through.

Carisi: Who wants to call the sergeant?
Fin (points to him): The new guy.
Carisi: Still?

[After the victim's father kills SVU's suspect]
Rollins: The nail gun makes that confession completely coerced.
Barba: Either way, Luke Davis is looking at felony murder.
Carisi: You think? You do know the defendant gets a free pass on that if he can show he acted under extreme emotional duress.
Barba: Booyah Fordham Law.

Jerome Jones' Mother (to Barba about Luke Davis): He gets a deal and my innocent son is dead? Whose life matters to you?
Barba: I'm so sorry for your loss. What happened to Jerome was horrible. I wish I could bring him back, but this is where we are.

Background information and notes

  • Although not seen, Jimmy MacArthur is mentioned when Olivia says she will call him, and he later publishes a story based on Neil Alexander raping his niece.
  • This is the first episode of season 16 to have all of the main cast appear in the episode.

Episode scene cards

1 2 3 4

Arraignment Court
Part 31
Friday, January 23

Office of
Dr. Neil Alexander, D.D.S.
208 East 17th Street
Sunday, January 25

Rikers Island
Visiting Room
Tuesday, January 27

Meeting Room
Wednesday, January 28

Previous episode:
"Padre Sandungeuro"
"Decaying Morality"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 16
Next episode:
"Intimidation Game"
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