"Patrimonial Burden"
SVU, Episode 17.07
Production number: 17007
First aired: 4 November 2015
  th of 476 produced in SVU  
th of 476 released in SVU
  th of 1229 released in all  
Patrimonial burden
Teleplay By
Jill Abbinanti & Céline C. Robinson

Story By
Warren Leight & Julie Martin

Directed By
Martha Mitchell


The SVU investigates an unraveling web of secrets when the virtuous 13-year-old daughter of a famous reality TV family discovers she's pregnant.


After popular reality television family, the Bakers, learn that their 13-year-old daughter Lane is pregnant, the SVU squad is notified, but Lane's parents, Pam and Frank, are reluctant to cooperate with the investigation and want to protect their family of ten from the scandal.

At first, Lane tells Olivia that she was raped by the reality show's cameraman, Pete Matthews, but he is cleared as the perpetrator after he reveals that he had a vasectomy. The next suspect is Lane's older brother Graham, who has a past history of sexual assault.

While on desk duty due to pregnancy complications, Rollins binge watches the Bakers' reality show and discovered that the family's toddler son Tate is not Pam's biological son, but the son of the family's fifteen-year-old daughter Summer. The detectives think that Graham impregnated his sister, but after Tate's DNA is tested, it is revealed that Graham is not Tate's biological father.

After learning that the family's pastor, Pastor Gregory Eldon, chaperoned Lane on a mission to New York around the time she got pregnant, his DNA is tested and it is revealed that he is the father of Summer's child and most likely Lane's child. As Eldon attempts to marry Lane in order to avoid being charged with statutory rape, the SVU detectives stop the wedding and revealed the truth. In the end, Pam says that the family will testify against Eldon, despite the potential future of their reality show. With that, SVU arrest Eldon.

The squad watch the Baker's broadcast and Dodds notes that he thought that they would be taking rapists off the streets not churches. Benson says those types of criminals lurk everywhere.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast


Episode references


Carisi: The priest I had growing up, he saved my life, but you only ever hear about the bad ones.
Rollins: What am I doing? What was I thinking, having a baby on my own?
Carisi: Listen to me. I've been working with you over a year now and there's nothing you can't handle.
Fin: I don't like golf, I don't like small towns and I definitely don't like the Catskills.

Background information and notes

  • The events of this episode were inspired by the scandal resulting from the uncovering of evidence that Josh Duggar, of the TLC reality show 19 Kids & Counting, abused several family members.

Episode scene cards

1 2

Grace Saviour Church Hostel
51 West 26th Street
Tuesday, September 8

Algernon Rentals
Loading Dock
428 West 15th Street
Tuesday, September 8

3 4 5

Allanville Golf Course
Tuesday, September 8

Office of
The Medical Examiner
433 East 26th Street
Thursday, September 10

Grace Saviour Church Hostel
51 West 26th Street
Thursday, September 10

Previous episode:
"Maternal Instincts"
"Patrimonial Burden"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 17
Next episode:
"Melancholy Pursuit"
Seasons 123456789101112131415161718192021222324
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.