|Title||Executive Assistant District Attorney|
|Affiliation||Manhattan District Attorney's Office|
She was assigned to work with the Special Victims Unit while their usual ADA Alexandra Cabot was sent to Albany to train as an appeals court clerk. She made no attempts to hide her dislike of the methods and personnel of the SVU, especially Elliot Stabler. He viewed her as scared and hungry for power.
While prosecuting the trial of Dalton Rindell, she accidentally played a created videotape which depicted Rindell engaging in the crime, which had already not been allowed as evidence (although Defense attorney Roger Kressler believed this to be deliberate) Her intention was to play a video with faceless computer characters in order to show how the crime was committed, but playing the wrong tape put her case at risk. Later, Rindell would have all charges dismissed due to this action.
Paxton then went to a restaurant and began drinking, even while attempting to prepare Stabler and Olivia Benson for their testimony the next day. Both of them refused to do so while she was drinking and left. The next day, Paxton showed up to court late and appearing to be intoxicated. On the order of Judge Barry Moredock, Benson performed a breathalyser test which indicated a BAC of .082. Paxton then was removed from the courtroom by Benson and ordered to undergo rehabilitation for alcoholism, which she had previously put down as not being a disease during the Rindell case. (SVU: Hammered)
After her time in rehab, Paxton comes back, but Stabler doesn't let her live down her past mistake. Even then, Paxton continues to pursue the case she has been assigned to. She remains nonplussed, until Judge Sylvia Quinn is dismissed from the case due to possible bias, and Judge Marcus Ridiger is asked to try the case. Paxton requests a new judge, to no avail. During the trial, she is asked to approach the bench, but trips on the table, causing Ridiger to question her sobriety. She denies being intoxicated, and asks for a recess, as her key witness is not showing up. After the witness is found dead, EADA Paxton wins the case. (SVU: Gray)
She returns to trying sex crimes along with Alicia Harding (Debra Messing), but after Alicia gets death threats and her bloody scarf, the SVU begin to investigate her stalker, Paxton is very involved in the case, even suspected of handing confidential information to Alicia, but after a handful, Alicia's stalker kills her, making it the last appearance on the show. Yet in her final act, Paxton managed to get usable DNA to finally capture the killer. (SVU: Pursuit )
Sonya Paxton is slated to return for a season fifteen episode, her scene is a flash back of her bar night with Detective Benson. Benson thinks of Sonya's drinking problems and assesses if she is heading down that slippery slope.