Walter Thornburg
Name Walter Thornburg
Occupation Judge
Pathology Statutory rapist
Family Brooke Thornburg (wife)
Tricia Thornburg (stepdaughter; deceased)
Brian Thornburg (son with Tricia)
Josh Thornburg (son with Brooke)
Status Imprisoned
Permanently disbarred
Actor Keir Dullea
First Appearance "Justice"

Walter "Walt" Thornburg is a former judge and former friend of Captain Donald Cragen.


They both went to St. Raymond's University together and they frequently run into each other at functions. He is married to a woman named Brooke, with whom he had a son named Josh. He was a suspect in the statutory rape of his stepdaughter when she was eleven years old, which led to her pregnancy with a son called Brian at age twelve. He and Brooke both raised Brian together. He had numerous encounters with SVU detectives when they testified in his courtroom. He was also well known for being harsh on predators and pedophiles, often imposing long sentences.

This was revealed to actually be a product of his self-loathing due to his own pedophilia. When Thornburg got shot by an assailant, he was rushed to a hospital, and Stabler and Benson got a court order for his DNA. The evidence showed he indeed raped his stepdaughter and he is the father of Brian. Cragen visited the judge in hospital and told him they got DNA evidence that verified he was Brian's father. The judge told the captain he searched the depths of his soul and for the life, and yet, he couldn't find an answer. He acknowledged that his career was over, but still denied that he murdered his daughter to keep her quiet. (SVU: "Justice")