"Justice Denied"
SVU, Episode 13.17
Production number: 13017
First aired: 11 April 2012
  th of 476 produced in SVU  
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Det Benson Justice Denied
Teleplay By
Stuart Feldman

Story By
Stuart Feldman & Warren Leight

Directed By
Michael Slovis

One of Benson's solved cases is reopened, and the subsequent legal battle causes friction between Executive ADA David Haden, Bayard Ellis, and Benson.


A rape victim is brought to the hospital after a harrowing hours-long ordeal, and Benson recognizes the suspect's M.O. from a case she solved eight years ago. The jailed rapist confessed to Benson after a tough interrogation but has been claiming his innocence ever since his conviction. The SVU squad is forced to reopen Benson’s old case to determine if they are dealing with a copycat or a case of wrongful imprisonment. As Benson's detective work is challenged, her personal relationship with Executive ADA Haden is also placed in jeopardy when Counselor Bayard Ellis gets involved.


Prisoner Omar Pena tries to re-open his case and overturn his conviction for raping and torturing a young woman, but his request is denied. When another rape occurs with an identical M.O., Benson (who was the detective that got his confession) attempts to link Omar to the crime, but the investigation of the new victim's assault turns up DNA evidence from both attacks which does not match Omar or his possible accomplice.

After re-interviewing the first victim, Benson realizes that she made a mistake when she first questioned Omar and ended up forcing a false confession out of him. Bayard Ellis takes Omar's case and works to get him released from prison while Benson looks for the real rapist.

In the end, a Brazilian sailor is identified as the real rapist and Omar is released from prison. Because of Omar Pena's false confession, the district attorney creates a committee to investigate past convictions starting with the Special Victims Unit and EADA Haden is in charge of the truth. Due to the conflict of interest, Benson and Haden end their relationship.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast


Fin: My rope guy from CSU's got something.
Amanda: You've got a rope guy?
Fin: Yeah. Guess I've been on this job too long.

Benson: Us...this...never happened.


Background information and notes

  • The flashback sequence shows that Omar Pena was interrogated during the opening of the episode "Quarry".

Episode scene cards

1 2 3

Mercy Hospital
365 West 32nd Street
Sunday, March 4

Crime Scene Unit Lab
15014 Jamaica Avenue
Jamaica, Queens
Sunday, March 4

Apartment of
Gladys Martinez
228 East 119th Street
Monday, March 5

4 5 6

Brazilian Frigate Maranhao
Pier 88
Wednesday, March 7

Green Haven Correctional
Visitor's Room
Friday, March 9

440 Hearing
Monday, March 12

Previous episode:
"Child's Welfare"
"Justice Denied"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 13
Next episode:
"Valentine's Day"
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