Raul Esparza is saying goodbye to Law & Order: SVU.
The 47-year-old actor has played New York Assistant DA Rafael Barba since 2012 and his final episode aired Wednesday night (February 7).
In tonight’s episode, Raul’s character found himself charged with a crime when he became too involved in a family’s right-to-die case. Although he was acquitted of the charges against him, Barba decided to leave his position as lead prosecutor.
“I’ve got to move on,” Barba told Mariska Hargitay‘s Lt. Olivia Benson before a tearful embrace.
However, this might not be the last time we see Rafael Barba.
“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 is family and we look forward to seeing his talent shine in new projects. As for Barba, SVU fans may see him again soon.”
Also during tonight’s episode, Chicago Justice alum Philip Winchester will be reprising his role as ADA Peter Stone on SVU and has been promoted to series regular on the show.