|Family||Milan Zergin (brother)|
|First Appearance||SVU: "Night"|
|Last Appearance||TBJ: "Day"|
History[edit | edit source]
Originally from Sarajevo, Bosnia, Nina Zergin fled to the United States in 2002, accompanied by her older brother Milan, who'd been tortured by people loyal to the then-fugitive ex-dictator Radovan Karadžić. Unfortunately for them, they were unable to claim legal citizenship in the U.S. and went off the books after losing their appeal. Nina took a job as a cleaning woman in an office building. One night, on her way home, she was attacked by Gabriel and raped. Adding insult to injury, Gabriel left her with a large number of hundred-dollar bills. However, she was afraid to go to the police, both because of her illegal status and because her brother had become a strict Muslim, and she feared he would kill or hurt her if he discovered she was no longer a virgin. She did, however, report her ordeal to Mildred Quintana, an agitator for the rights of illegal immigrant women.
When Gabriel later raped Haitian refugee Marguerite Beauclaire and left her to die of a heart attack, the detectives at Manhattan Special Victims Unit learned about Nina through Quintana, and she was approached and interviewed by Detective Benson. Still afraid of the consequences of her brother learning about her rape, she agreed only to supply Benson with the money that Gabriel had given her. Fingerprints on the money led the detectives to Jason Whitaker, the lawyer for the Duvalls' estate, and this in turn led them to Gabriel Duvall.
With the mounting case against Gabriel, Benson convinced Nina to testify, but Nina was sidetracked after an anonymous tip to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (which almost certainly came from Whitaker) accused her of involvement in an Islamic terrorist cell. She was released when ADA Casey Novak declared her to be a witness in a rape case, but this came at a considerable cost; Milan brutally attacked Novak, convinced that Nina's testimony in court would shame their family. As a result, Whitaker snatched up Novak as a witness for the defense, hoping that her injuries would convince jurors that Nina had made up a rape charge to avoid confessing that she'd lost her virginity. Luckily, Gabriel threw away a tissue with genetic material from both him and Nina, providing enough proof for an arrest warrant; and Novak was able to convince Nina to testify.