He’s been described as rude and sometimes crude, but always an effective prosecutor. And for six years Rafael Barba dutifully sought to put away as many violent offenders as the Law & Order: SVU team could arrest. But exactly how much do you really remember about this crusading attorney?
Five Fast Facts About Rafael Barba
He enjoys a very special bond with Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), but there is more to him than that. From the fractious relationship he has with his family to the mercy killing that he committed, here are five fast facts about Rafael Barba (Raúl Esparza).
Barba is a Brooklyn, New York native and the son of Lucia and a never-named father. In reference to Barba Sr., Barba once claimed that he “has been dead 15 years, and my hand still curls into a fist whenever I think of him.”
But despite his inward hatred of his father, Barba also couldn’t bring himself to authorize the removal of the man’s life support machine when he slipped into a diabetic coma. It would be a decision that would forever haunt Barba and shape his future handling of a similar right-to-die issue…
Rafael Barba always had a flair for the dramatic. Take for instance the way in which he won the first case he tried as a prosecutor of Special Victims cases. When all seemed to be going the way of the defendant, Barba slyly goaded him into reenacting the attack he perpetrated against his victim – in open court! What else was the jury to do but convict after witnessing a near attempted murder?
Taking His Lumps
All sins must be atoned for, and that’s a fact that Barba knows more than most. After becoming the victim of a criminal’s blackmail plot, Barba admitted to paying a witness for her testimony with the sure and certain knowledge that she would use it to procure drugs in order to feed her addiction. His act resulted in a severe reprimand and suspension from duties.
The residual guilt he harbored for not allowing his father to die with dignity led Barba to disconnect the life support machine keeping a terminally ill infant alive whilst its parents debated the merits of whether or not to do so. Barba was tried for murder but ultimately found not guilty.
Barba is an (apparently) avid skier who spends his Christmas holiday in a ski resort in Gstaad, Switzerland. He’s a fan of the National Dance Institute, theatrical productions – particularly Broadway offerings – and various works of literature, especially those penned by Tom Wolfe and Kurt Vonnegut.
Law & Order: SVU returns to NBC’s Thursday night lineup on January 7, 2021. Check your local listings for airtimes.