Law and Order
SVU, Episode 3.18
Production number: E2332
First aired: 29 March 2002
  th of 502 produced in SVU  
th of 502 released in SVU
  th of 1271 released in all  
Elizabeth Donnelly.jpg
Written By
Tara Butters & Michele Fazekas

Directed By
David Platt

ADA Cabot faces a reluctant witness in a case of child molestation. She goes far beyond the line of duty to find evidence against the serial abuser.


After a botched attempt to record incriminating evidence against a man named Roy Barnett, who molested a young boy, Cabot and Stabler manage to get the boy to testify. After his testimony, another victim comes forward and attacks Barnett. Detectives soon realize there are even more victims. When the witness becomes hospitalized, ADA Cabot goes far beyond the rules of ethics to uncover the truth.


Episode summary


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast




He's far more calculating than your typical pedophile. Barnett never chooses victims of opportunity, like children of a girlfriend, or a second wife. He's a true predator; unrepentant, unstoppable. No amount of therapy will change that.

–Dr. Phil Mitrano

Alex: He is as bad as his client! Hoping the victim is too traumatized to testify. He's lucky I didn't knock his teeth down his throat!
Captain Cragen: I'd pay real money to see that.

The only reason I am here is to find evidence against the man who hurt your son. I am more than willing to accept blame for what happened to Sam, but do not let Roy Barnett get away with what he did.


Stabler: Aw, he's leaving town. You know we're really gonna miss you.
Barnett: Now what?
Stabler: We're helpin' you pack.

Benson: You think all this stuff's gonna fit in his cell?
Stabler: Probably not!

Stabler: Barnett's being processed, we're heading to Mulligan's to celebrate.
Fin: You're probably not gonna want to do that.
Captain Cragen: Out of line, Alex.
Alex: I am not out of line and I don’t work for you!
Benson: And why's that?
Fin: Dad's mad.
Captain Cragen: Get your asses in my office.

Kressler: This was a blatant 4th amendment violation; sanctioned and indeed carried out by the people. Therefore any evidence found must be suppressed.
Alex: Mr. Barnett's 4th amendment rights were not violated. Linda Cavanaugh's certainly were, but she isn't the defendent. Mr. Barnett is. He has no standing to contest a search of someone else's home.
Kressler: Are you actually arguing that you can march in like the Gestapo and search any private residence?!
Alex: I am arguing that I can search any private residence that doesn't belong to your client and it will have no bearing on these proceedings.
Judge Petrovsky: While I deplore the assistant district attorney's actions, I am forced to agree that the illegal search of Linda Cavanaugh's residence is a civil tort. The defendent's privacy was not violated, therefor he has no legal standing to contest the search. Motion to suppress the evidence is denied. Miss Cabot, I scarcely know where to begin. The liberties you have taken. The disdain you have shown toward the law in this court are highly unethical and a disgrace to your position. Be assured I will recommend your office to look into your actions. And you have done yourself a real disservice in my courtroom. I won't forget it.

Stabler: You should have told us.
Alex: I'm sorry.
Benson: No you're not.
Alex: I am sorry you were ever in the middle of this. But you're right, I'm not sorry about the rest.

Alex: I take full responsibility for my actions.
Donnelly: Of course. You did it for the greater good, the safety of society. Bull. You did this for you.
Alex: I did this for hundreds of Barnett's future victims.
Donnelly: One. One victim. Sam Cavanaugh.
Donnelly: Did it work? Did it assuage your guilt?
Alex: No. I don't think that's gonna happen anytime soon.
Donnelly: I've got news for you. It won't happen. Ever.

Background information and notes

Episode scene cards

1 2 3 4

Apartment of Roy Barnett
301 West 98th Street
Monday, February 18

Office of Special Victims Unit
Bureau Chief
Elizabeth Donnelly
Monday, February 18

Sing Sing
Correctional Facility
Ossining, New York
Wednesday, February 20

Trial Part 74
Friday, February 22

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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 3
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