Fan-favourite Raúl Esparza is leaving Law & Order: SVU after six years with the crime series.
The actor, who played Assistant District Attorney Rafael Barba, joined the show in Season 14 as a series regular, before becoming a permanent cast member in Season 15.
“It has truly been an honour writing for Raúl,” SVU showrunner Michael Chernuchin says.
“The power, sensitivity, and morality he brought to the character of Rafael Barba never failed to elevate our scripts. Raúl is family and we look forward to seeing his talent shine in new projects. As for Barba, SVU fans may see him again soon.”
Esparza told EW that it was his decision to leave the show.
"I’ve done six seasons, I felt like it was time to go," he said. "I had explored a lot of what I thought Barba was about. I just felt it was time to move on."
If you're keen to know how Rafael exits the SVU world, keep reading for spoilers.
During Wednesday night's episode in the US, Rafael leaves the DA's office after he pulled the plug on a brain-dead child. In his place, Chicago Justice character Peter Stone (Philip Winchester) has become the new ADA.
The episode will air in Australia soon.