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Say It Aint So! Raúl Esparza Departs ‘Law & Order: SVU’ After 6 Seasons
Michael Parmelee/NBC

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

NBC just said ta-ta to a longtime cast member on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Raúl Esparza, who plays Assistant District Attorney Rafael Barba, has officially left the hit procedural drama after six seasons, according to Entertainment Weekly. The actor’s final episode aired last night and featured Barba stepping down as ADA after being acquitted for pulling the plug on a brain-dead child.

Esparza explained, “I’ve done six seasons, I felt like it was time to go. I had explored a lot of what I thought Barba was about. I just felt it was time to move on.” 

The good news is Barba’s smooth departure means the beloved character could return for a cameo. Esparza continued, “I think that Barba’s become a part of the SVU family, and I think there’s a life for him. I don’t know necessarily, but it’s possible that there’s a life for him as the series goes on. I’m glad they left that door open.”

Us, too, Raúl. Us, too. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

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