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What's the world coming to when a whore yells rape?
~ Foster demeaning one of his victims

Mark Foster is the main antagonist of the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Unstable". He is a serial rapist and murderer who frames an innocent man for his crimes.

He is portrayed by Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, who also portrayed Cottonmouth in Luke Cage, Vector in Alita: Battle Angel, and Prowler in Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse.


Foster is a former stockbroker who lost his job after being convicted of beating his wife, who then divorced him and took their daughter. He then began physically and sexually assaulting prostitutes, eventually killing one. In 1998, he rapes Katie Harris at knifepoint; Detective Elliot Stabler, then new to the Special Victims Unit, arrested an innocent man, Victor Tate, for the crime because he was mistakenly identified by the victim as her rapist.

In "Unstable"

Foster rapes another woman, a crime investigated by Stabler and his partner, Olivia Benson, with assistance from Detective Nate Kendall. The three of them interview a potential witness, a crack addict named Layla Foster, and find out that she and her young daughter had been abused by Layla's ex-husband, Mark Foster. They come to suspect him of committing the rapes.

They bring Foster in for questioning, but he denies the charges. They are forced to let him go, but keep investigating until they tie him to four rapes and a rape-homicide. They go to Foster's last known address, where he lives with his elderly father, Malcolm, who does not seem surprised when he learns what his son has done. When Foster comes home from work, he sees the detectives and runs until he is cornered. Desperate, Foster pours gasoline on the ground, produces a lighter, and threatens to kill himself and everyone else there. Fortunately, Stabler is able to tackle him.

During interrogation, Foster realizes that his luck has run out, and coldly admits to committing a murder and several rapes - including the one that Stabler arrested Tate for. Before he can be officially charged with that crime, however, Foster commits suicide by jumping out of a four story window as Kendall leads him to be transferred to jail. Because Foster's confession was not entered into an official record, it cannot be used in a court proceeding, meaning that Tate will remain in prison for a crime he did not commit.

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