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The Other Law And Order: SVU Character You Didn't Know Peter Scanavino Played

Over the course of its many years on the air, "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" has become the longest-running non-animated primetime drama on TV in the United States. This is, of course, a distinction it will continue to hold until its eventual end. That said, reaching such a high episode count means that "SVU" must occasionally take some liberties with its casting that other, shorter series might rather avoid, whether that means recasting important roles or featuring the same actor in multiple distinct parts.

Diane Neal, for example, is best-known for portraying Senior Assistant Distract Attorney Casey Novak for multiple seasons and a number of guest appearances on "Law & Order: SVU." Casey wasn't Neal's first role on the show, however. Prior to her recurring part, Neal portrayed a lawyer named Amelia Chase in a Season 3 episode titled "Ridicule."

In a similar fashion, "SVU" actor Peter Scanavino first appeared on "SVU" not as the longtime character for which he's become well-known among viewers, but in a one-off appearance that has since become entirely overshadowed by his subsequent work on the series.

Peter Scanavino was a criminal in SVU Season 14

To the vast majority of "Law & Order: SVU" fans, Peter Scanavino is simply the actor that portrays Dominick Carisi Jr., an in-fiction replacement for Detective Nick Amaro, following the departure of actor Danny Pino — a decision that took certain fans some time to fully accept. Scanavino first appears as Carisi, nicknamed Sonny, in Season 16. His first "SVU" role, however, came one year and two seasons prior (via IMDb).

In Season 14 Episode 13 of "Law & Order: SVU," titled "Monster's Legacy," Scanavino is credited as a character named Johnny Dubcek. Viewers familiar with that episode may remember that Johnny is the perpetrator of the crime at its center, which it turns out was the byproduct of abuse he experienced as a child, hence its title.

So, while Scanavino is now arguably inseparable from the character he has portrayed for more than 150 episodes since, his first "SVU" role was not as Dominick Carisi Jr. but a criminal named Johnny Dubcek limited to a single episode in Season 14.