'Law & Order: SVU' Tackles Transgender Assault Case in 'Whirlwind' Three-Crime Episode

This week's episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit featured a dizzying three cases coming in all at once. The one that had fans talking involved a transgender woman being tossed out of a car. The victim, played by Bea Cordelia, knew the newest member of the SVU team, Detective Katriona "Kat" Azar Tamin (Jamie Gray Hyder). The whole episode was described as a "whirlwind" hour by fans.

In "At Midnight in Manhattan," Lakira Baca (Cordelia) was picked up by a mysterious man at the pier. While performing oral sex on him, Lakita made a comment and he roughed her up, especially after learning she is transgender. The man tossed her out of the car. Thankfully, Lakira gave Kat enough of a description of the perpetrator to work with, even giving a good description of the car.

Next, Kat told Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Carisi (Peter Scanavino) that she found a suspect, Paul Davies (Ben Davis). He paid for parking near the pier six times in the past nine weeks and got a parking ticket a block from where Lakira was found.

Lakira later identified Paul as her attacker. Although they knew who the attacker was, Lakira was not so convinced that Paul would be put behind bars. Who would they believe? Her or the rich guy? Lakira told Carisi why she does not feel comfortable around cops. The first time she was assault, when she was 14, the cop told her to wipe her makeup off.

As the day went on, Carisi joined Kat in Westchester to interview Paul, who is also a lawyer. Kat jumped the gun and showed him a photo of Lakira. The suspect insisted there was no way he would ever go to the same place as Lakira. After Paul left, Carisi told Kat they need to canvas the pier to find other witnesses.

Benson (Mariska Hargitay) then interviewed Paul and brought up other pier prostitutes who claimed they were assaulted. So, Benson and Carisi arrested Paul.

A few hours later, Kat asked Lakira to talk with the D.A. She was still apprehensive about talking about the experience, noting that her own family won't accept her. Kat said she would be there, and told Lakira she thinks she's one of the bravest people she's ever known. Lakira agreed, but she was not expecting a "fairy tale ending."

During the arraignment, Paul's attorney said they received a signed affidavit from Lakira that she now claims she fabricated the story and wanted the charges dropped. The judge released Paul, and Kat was left confused.

"My guess.. while you were looking after her case, she was looking after herself," Carisi said.

Kat tracked Lakira down and admitted to taking a pay-off deal from Paul, a development that disappointed the detective.

The other SVU detectives worked on cases that were standard fare for SVU. Fin (Ice-T) was busy tracking down Leon (James Udom) who assaulted his wife Simone (Afi Bijou) while their son Andre (Ja'Siah Young) watched. Rollins (Kelli Giddish) investigated the assault of Chloe (Nicole Brydon Bloom), the daughter of a well-connected couple convinced she was attacked by her ride-share driver.

Although the team did put Leon away, his wife told Benson she probably should have never taken the case because she depended on him for support. Benson would not buy that, insisting she could be stronger than that.

New episodes of Law & Order: SVU air Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.


Photo credit: NBC