Chris Shea
Name Chris Shea
Occupation Priest
Family Sophia Santiago (daughter with Margarita Santiago)
Status Alive
Actor Denis O'Hare
First Appearance CI: "Last Rites"
Last Appearance SVU: "Presumed Guilty"

Chris Shea is Detective Lennie Briscoe's former priest.


Shea is first seen at a prison chapel on Staten Island, taking the confession of a dying man named Marty Swenders. In the confession, he admits to murdering Peter Bottner and his pregnant wife Natalie and unintentionally framing a drug dealer named Randy Nichols for the crime. Marty then passes away from cancer and Shea gives the information to Detective Mike Logan to reopen the case, although he doesn't reveal Marty's name. As Logan and his partner investigate, Shea is stabbed repeatedly by Wayne Chatlet because Teresa Driver, the ADA who prosecuted the case, ordered a hit on Shea to protect her record as she prepared to run for Attorney General. He barely manages to survive and returns to the prison chapel. Logan pays him a visit to scold him for holding the information back and ruining both his and his partner's careers. However, Shea tells him that it might be the time for him to retire, which Logan takes to heart. (CI: "Last Rites")

Between CI and SVU

After this ordeal, he is transferred to St. Horatio's Church, where he eventually met a woman named Rita Santiago. In a moment of weakness, he had sex with her, and she bore him a daughter named Sophia. He later took the confession of a thirteen-year-old girl named Anjelica Rodriquez, who revealed she was forced to have an abortion by her abuser, Father Menendez, who was the monsignor of Shea's church. Shea confronted him; Menendez confessed to the entire thing, promising Shea he wouldn't do it again. Menendez then transferred Shea to Guatemala to try and put some distance between them, but Shea kept visiting to see his daughter and take Menendez's confession every year.


Shea was later attacked by two men in front of Sophia, and a paroled convict named Sam Randall came to his rescue. The police mistake Sam as the one who assaulted Shea and arrest him because the assault put Shea into a coma. Sam's ex-brother-in-law, Detective Odafin Tutuola, starts investigating on his own. He questions Shea about the assault, and he gives a statement in which he reveals Sam's true role in the attack, but won't reveal who attacked him. Fin and his partner later arrest Shea's attackers, Adam Benitez and Enrique Rodriquez. Adam was molested as a kid, while Enrique, Anjelica's brother, thought Shea was the one who molested her. Menendez hears about the arrests and tries to send Shea back to Guatemala to stop the investigation, but Shea refused, stating it won't happen again. Shea later identifies his attackers when the ADA won't release Sam and the detectives work the case under the impression that Shea molested Anjelica. They uncover the truth and eventually move to arrest Menendez, while the detectives at SVU scold Shea for not coming forward sooner. He later witnesses Anjelica murder Menendez just as Detective Nick Amaro is about to arrest him. (SVU: "Presumed Guilty")