Vassilieva, 18, will be playing a middle-class teen that comes from the suburbs to New York City on a piano scholarship when she is attacked and raped in her apartment. Andre Braugher (Men of a Certain Age) will be making his debut performance as a defense lawyer that is hired by her attacker.
The young actress is used to emotional roles, as she also played Kate, a girl with leukemia, in the movie My Sister's Keeper, starring Cameron Diaz.
Law & Order: SVU is gearing up for big changes next season, as Christopher Meloni, who has played Detective Elliot Stabler for twelve years, will be leaving the show.
"It is true -- 12 great years and time for the next chapter," his rep reports.
Mariska Hargitay will continue to be on the show -- but it will be scaled back so she can spend more time with her family. Jennifer Love Hewitt is rumored to be in talks to have a lead role in the show.
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