|Affiliation||Sports and Events Network|
|Family||Theo Jordan (son with Avery Jordan)|
|First Appearance||"Legitimate Rape"|
Richard Purcell is a cameraman who raped and impregnated a popular sports reporter named Avery Jordan, who he had been stalking.
Purcell studied law, but for reasons unknown, he did not take the bar exam and later got a job working as a news cameraman. While working with Jordan, Purcell became obsessed with her and began stalking her. When he discovered that she was in a relationship with network anchor Jason Hollis, Purcell used a hidden camera to record them having sex and blackmailed Hollis into ending the relationship. After being on tour together, Purcell dropped Jordan off at her apartment but secretly followed her inside. After Jordan came out of the bathroom from taking a shower, Purcell raped her. Afterwards, Jordan did not press charges because she was afraid it would affect her career. She repeatedly tried to explain to Purcell that they would never be in a relationship, but he would not listen.
Legitimate Rape Edit
When Jordan secretly meets with Detective Benson to discuss what happened to her, Purcell secretly takes a photo of them and leaves it, along with a photo of Jordan and Hollis having sex, outside of her door with the words "Watching You" in order to frighten her. The next day, when Detectives Fin and Rollins go to question him, Purcell claims that the sex was consensual and that Jordan is lying because she was afraid Hollis might have found out. After Benson and A.D.A Barba convince Jordan to press charges, Purcell is arrested and it is later revealed that Jordan is pregnant.
In court, Purcell was defended Roger Kressler. However, he asks Judge Elana Barth to talk to her in private and she calls a recess. In Barth's chambers, Purcell says that his attorney is not doing a good job at defending him and asks to represent himself, which she allows. During his cross-examination of Hollis, Purcell claims that Jordan only slept with Hollis to help her career. He then questions Benson on the stand and asks why Jordan decided to keep her baby despite it being the result of rape. After Benson says that it has been known to happen, Purcell tries to claim that she dislikes men. After Jordan testifies against him, Purcell then calls Congressmen Fritz Showalter to testify that Jordan would not have become pregnant if she had been a victim of "legitimate rape". However, Barba is able to discredit Showalter by bringing up a settlement he made with a woman he worked with. When Purcell cross-examines Jordan, he claims that she always wanted a baby and that he gave her one, but Jordan maintains that he raped her.
Later, one of the female jurors, who believed Showalter's "legitimate rape" argument, refused to vote guilty, and the jury subsequently decides to find Purcell guilty of stalking but not guilty of rape. Purcell is sentenced to time served, much to Jordan's dismay. After Jordan gives birth to her baby Theo, Purcell sues for parental custody. At family court, Purcell tries to use the fact that Jordan was prescribed anti-depression medication to claim she is unfit to raise Theo. However, Jordan's attorney Rita Calhoun points out that Theo has been perfectly healthy while in her care and then uses the fact that Purcell stalked and raped Jordan, even though Purchell was acquitted of rape, to argue he is an unfit father. Judge Ruth Linden reprimands Purcell for what he put Jordan through and awards Jordan full custody of Theo. However, she also grants Purcell supervised visitation rights once a week, which upsets Jordan. Later, Purcell arrives at the precinct to visit his son, but Jordan uses her private jet to flee to a country where extradition would be difficult, in order to keep Purcell out of her and her son's lives. When Jordan did not show up, Captain Cragen tells Purcell that they do not know where Jordan and the baby are, but that a search is underway.