Raúl Esparza Quits Law & Order: SVU After Six Years!

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Law & Order: SVU just lost a major star. 

Raúl Esparza took to Twitter to release a statement shortly after Law & Order: SVU Season 19 Episode 12 aired and confirmed his days with the NBC crime drama are over. 

Barba's Anguish - Law & Order: SVU Season 19 Episode 12

“Goodbye Barba. Thank you. You changed my life. My squad. And you, you always, my Liv, my friend Mariska. I will always treasure my time with all of you,” the actor said.

Esparaza joined the cast during Law & Order Season 14 and emerged as a hit with viewers. This paved the way for him to be upped to series regular. 

It has truly been an honor writing for Raul. The power, sensitivity, and morality he brought to the character of Rafael Barba never failed to elevate our scripts,” showrunner Michael Chernuchin said in a statement.

Raul Esparza

“Raul is family, and we look forward to seeing his talent shine in new projects. As for Barba, SVU fans may see him again soon.”

During Raul's final episode as a series regular, Barba decided his time as ADA was over in the aftermath of pulling the plug on a brain-dead child. 

It all proved to be too much for Barba, and he will hand the title of ADA for New York City to Chicago Justice character Peter Stone (Philip Winchester). 

It was revealed a few months ago that Winchester would be making the jump from Chicago Justice to SVU.

 Raul Esparza Attends NBC Upfronts

Given that no details about his casting were revealed at the time, it was unclear whether he would be replacing another character. 

Okay, Law & Order: SVU fanatics. What do you think of the big exit?

Are you sad?

Hit the comments below!

Remember you can watch Law & Order: SVU online right here via TV Fanatic. Get up to speed on all the latest action now. 

Paul Dailly is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Law & Order: SVU Quotes

It is better to live a life of infamy, than a life of obscurity.

Holden

Barba: Jury's back.
Amaro: In 20 minutes?