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"Competence"
SVU, Episode 3.22
Production number: E2335
First aired: 10 May 2002
  th of 366 produced in SVU  
th of 366 released in SVU
  th of 1106 released in all  
Huang Competence
Teleplay By
Robert F. Campbell & Jonathan Greene

Story By
Robert F. Campbell,
Jonathan Greene & Jeff Eckerle

Directed By
Jud Taylor

An overprotective mother claims that her daughter with Down Syndrome became pregnant after being raped.

Plot Edit

Rebecca Tolliver reports her 22-year-old daughter, Katie, who has Down Syndrome is pregnant. Detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler have to make sure it's not just her mother being overprotective and in denial of her daughter's sex life. They learn even more people could have used her innocence about sex to abuse her.

At first they suspect Katie's boyfriend from the Down Syndrome education and activity group she attends as he has taken the sex ed classes and is very devoted to Katie but is later proven he is innocent.

Katie's boyfriend tells Katie what sex is and she disagrees saying it is exercise. It turns out that Katie's boss at a local store (where she works as part of a program) is responsible for her pregnancy.

Katie and her boyfriend set up an apartment together to prepare for the upcoming baby but they accidentally set the stove top on fire.

ADA Alexandra Cabot then has to interfere and take on her superior, in order to settle the mother-daughter dispute on whether the daughter should have an abortion or not and if Katie is competent enough to be a mother.

This directly conflicts with their argument in Katie's rape case where she isn't competent enough to consent to sex even though she is over the legal age.

The judge tells ADA Cabot she can't have it both ways - that Katie is competent enough to be a mother but not enough for sexual consent and dismisses the charges.

Without a confession from Katie's boss that it wasn't consensual sex there is no case.

The ADA goes to talk to the boss and he tells them it was consensual sex. The ADA then shows him photos of more babies born to girls from the Down Syndrome work program that worked for him.

She tells him that even though he is unable to be charged with rape for these girls he will be paying child support for all of them thus ruining his life financially by making him literally pay for his crimes.

Summary Edit

Episode summary

Cast Edit

Main cast Edit

Recurring cast Edit

Guest cast Edit

References Edit

Down's Syndrome

Quotes Edit

  • Katie: I got my baby from Danny.
    Dr. Huang: How?
    Katie: Kissing, stupid. (turns to Alex) Your friend doesn't know anything.
  • Kressler[to Alex] Did you know that Katie set fire to her mom's apartment when she tried to use the stove?
  • Alex: I set fire to my own stove last year, Counselor. But, no, I did not know that.

Background information and notes Edit

Episode scene cards Edit

1 2 3 4

Manhattan Adult
Day Center
65 East 38th Street
Wednesday, May 1

Special Needs School
169 Seventh Avenue
Thursday, May 2

Manhattan Adult
Day Center
65 East 38th Street
Friday, May 3

West 23rd Street
Women's Clinic
Saturday, May 4

5 6 7 8

Avco Pharmacy
2078 Broadway
Monday, May 6

The Broadway Arms
2122 Broadway
Monday, May 6

Office of Special Victims Unit
Bureau Chief
Elizabeth Donnelly
Wednesday, May 8

Competency Hearing
Thursday, May 9


Previous episode:
"Denial"
"Competence"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 3
Next episode:
"Silence"
Seasons 12345678910111213141516171819

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