Law and Order SVU Barba Leaves Raul Esparza

SVU Star Raúl Esparza Exits Series

As of Wednesday, the New York County District Attorney’s office has yet another opening.

Raúl Esparza’s Rafael Barba exited the action at the end of this week’s Law & Order: SVU; EW.com reports that the actor is leaving the show.

Esparza tweeted about the goodbye soon after the episode ended.

Esparza joined SVU in Season 14. “I felt like it was time to go,” he tells the site, adding that the departure of showrunner Warren Leight — a close friend of Esparza’s who left the series a few seasons ago — was a factor in his exit.

In Barba’s final episode, the ADA assisted with a sick infant’s death. Though he was found not guilty, he resigned and told Olivia that he had to go.

“It has truly been an honor writing for Raúl. The power, sensitivity and morality he brought to the character of Rafael Barba never failed to elevate our scripts,” Chernuchin said via statement. “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.”