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Bart Ganzel is one of two main antagonists (the other being Delia Wilson) of the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episodes "Rhodium Nights", "Lost Reputation", "Above Suspicion", and "Undercover Blue". He is a pimp and crime boss whose turf war with Wilson briefly ensnares Captain Donald Cragen and Detective Brian Cassidy of the Special Victims Unit.

He iwas portrayed by Peter Jacobson.

Biography

Overview

Ganzel is a pimp who runs an escort service, and within a few years becomes one of the most powerful crime bosses in New York City. This attracts the attention of Delia Wilson, a powerful gangster and madame who, like Ganzel, poses as a legitimate businessperson. She sends her hired muscle to intimidate Ganzel, prompting him to hire Brian Cassidy as his bodyguard, unaware that he is an undercover police detective who is investigating him. He also becomes engaged to Carissa Gibson, one of his escorts.

Ganzel runs his empire with the assistance of his lawyer, Barry Querns, who gets him out of legal trouble whenever it arises. Nevertheless, Ganzel looks down on him for being African-American, insults him with racial slurs such as "schvartze" behind his back, and has a contingency plan to use him as a patsy for all of his crimes should he run out of other options.

"Rhodium Nights"

Ganzel throws a bachelor party for football player Clayton Hannigan with prostitutes who once worked for Wilson. This displeases Wilson, who has one of the prostitutes, who happens to be underage, killed at the party to implicate Ganzel. Flanked by Cassidy, Ganzel tries to escape the crime scene, but both he and his bodyguard are arrested by detectives for the Special Victims Unit, where Cassidy used to work. Cassidy confides his undercover status to former colleague (and ex-lover) Olivia Benson, who promises not to compromise his cover.

Meanwhile, Ganzel denies knowing anything about the dead prostitute, including that she was underage, and has Querns bail him out of jail. He then retaliates against Wilson by having Carissa poison former New York governor Harrison Fletcher during a tryst, framing Wilson for the murder.

Ganzel also sends Carissa on a "date" with SVU Captain Donald Cragen, who had patronized Wilson's escort service years earlier following the death of his wife, and kills her after they have sex to frame Cragen and discredit SVU. He had earlier sent Cerissa to Cassidy after discovering that he is a cop, hoping to take him down as well, but Cassidy did not sleep with her. When Cassidy proves his innocence, Ganzel tries, unsuccessfully, to have him killed.

"Lost Reputation"

When Cerissa is murdered, SVU detectives Nick Amaro and Amanda Rollins arrest Ganzel, believing him to be responsible. He pleads innocence.

"Above Suspicion"

Out on bail, Ganzel meets with Querns, who, unbeknownst to him, has agreed to help Paula Foster, a corrupt Assistant District Attorney on Wilson's payroll, to put him in prison. Ganzel tells Querns, who is secretly wearing a wiretap, that he framed Cassidy and Cragen, and had Cassidy shot. The SVU detectives arrest Ganzel, and interrogate him until he admits that he murdered Carissa in a fit of jealous rage after she admitted to having feelings for Cassidy.

"Undercover Blue"

Months later, an imprisoned Ganzel tries to frame Cassidy for the rape of his ex-girlfriend, Heather Riggs, in hopes of destroying Cassidy's career and getting the charges against him dropped. This falls through when Heather admits in court that Cassidy did not harm her in any way, and Ganzel remains in prison.

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