Sylvia Quinn is a judge who was gang-raped in college.
She made her first appearance in the case against Anton Petrov. ADA Jo Marlowe informed Quinn in the ladies room that one of the defendants, Steve Elroy, did not trust his lawyer and Petrov, and was in fear of his life--he had slipped Marlowe a note asking for help. In Quinn's chambers, she, Marlowe and Attorney Trevor Langan agreed to a "shadow counsel" in which Langan would represent Elroy's real interests. In exchange, Elroy had to tell them the truth (in her chambers with the record sealed) in return for all charges being dropped against him and being granted immunity. However, Elroy was forbidden to reveal any information between he and his real attorney (since that would violate attorney-client privilege). Elroy revealed during "shadow counsel" the location of a murdered victim, but since he learned of it from his real attorney, Quinn was forced to make the body inadmissible in court, thereby voiding Elroy's deal. (SVU: "Ace")
In the case against Chuck Mills, Chuck's lawyer asked Quinn to recuse herself, based on an incident from her past that would make her impartial on Chuck's case. Quinn then met with both lawyers in her chambers and said she was removing herself from the case. ADA Sonya Paxton wanted to know her reasoning, but the Judge didn't go into details. Instead, she turned the case over to another judge (who happened to be the same one who ordered Paxton into rehab the year before year.) Paxton immediately requested another judge, but her request was denied. Paxton felt her entire case was lost based on this new judge, but Quinn told Paxton to fight for this case, especially since she had to remove herself from it, not to make any plea bargains, and promised to do whatever she could to make sure Chuck was convicted. When Judge Quinn met with Carla Vincent at Hudson University, she revealed she was gang raped 40 years ago while in college, and she never was able to find justice, and tried to persuade Carla to testify against Chuck. (SVU: "Gray")