Law and Order: SVU has never shied away from the controversial cases we see in the news.
And now, our favorite detective, Olivia Benson, is about to take on the SVU world version of Brock Turner, a real-life rapist who, because of his supposedly bright future, only served about three months in prison after being convicted of felony sexual assault.
Most of us know the horrific details of Turner’s story by now. He, a star swimmer on the Stanford University team, found an unconscious 22-year-old woman behind a dumpster late at night and decided to have his way with her. Turner was interrupted during the act by two international students, who chased and tackled him when he tried to run. One of them cried recounting the story to police because what he had seen Turner doing to the woman was so horrific.
Despite there being two eyewitnesses in the case, Turner wasn’t even tried for actual rape, only felony sexual assault after two rape charges initially filed against him were dropped. He was convicted on three counts, and after prosecutors recommended six years in prison, Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Turner to just six months. He was released after three.
Now, the universe where Law And Order: SVU takes place is a lot safer for women than the real world, because there, women are taken seriously, their stories are believed and they’re treated with respect by police who give everything they’ve got to put rapists behind bars. It’s a stark difference from real life, where less than 1 percent of accused rapists will ever see a jail cell.
But according to a promo for the Brock Turner-inspired episode of the series, there will (obviously) be a wrench thrown into things. Apparently, guest star Anthony Edwards will play the sergeant who was Benson’s first-ever SVU partner, and it’s his son who’s accused of the rape. The video shows him asking Benson for help getting his son off without punishment.
Luckily, the Benson we know and love would never let that fly. It’s why we watch the show — because seeing someone advocate so tirelessly for victims of sexual assault gives us a nice break from real life, where that’s woefully rare.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.