'Law & Order: SVU' Fans Thrown for a Loop After Transgender Twist

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit fans were dealt another major twist this week after a witness was revealed to be transgender.

The SVU team has zeroed in on two key suspects in the alleged rape and assault of a prostitute. The team figures out that one man, a soldier named Jim Preston (Marquise Vilson) was in the room, but did not commit the rape.

However, Preston will not cooperate and testify against the main culprit, a fellow soldier. Attorney Peter Stone even offers to lower his crimes to a misdemeanor in exchange for his cooperation, but he will not budge.

"You can let me go, you can pin a couple medals on my chest and bump me up in rank, and my answer is still: no deal," Preston tells him.

However, a discovery by Detective Dominick "Sonny" Carisi's (Peter Scavino) throws the entire investigation into a new direction.

"Jim Preston is never gonna testify," Carisi says. "It's got nothing to do with (military) code. We just got the blood back from the lab test, and it's a match for Jim. But the DNA in the blood is genetically female. Jim Preston is a transgender man."

The team then realizes that Preston is not testifying because he has been keeping his transgender identification a secret and does not want possible legislation banning him from serving his country.

"The courts will never uphold any law against transgender people serving in the military," Stone says.

Lt. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) replies, "That's right, but there's a huge distance between the law and life."

Fans did not see the twist coming and quickly took to Twitter with their gut reactions and shocked gifs.

"Wasn’t expecting that plot twist," one fan wrote. "Probably should have though."

Another viewer added, "Woooow now that is a huge turn of events."

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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. All past episodes of the show are available to stream on Hulu. Season 15-18 are available to stream on Netflix.

Photo Credit: NBC / Peter Kramer