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Now, honey, I think you're making a rather costly mistake.
~ Sidarsky threatening to disinherit his daughter if she testifies about his sexual abuse

Robert Sidarsky is the main antagonist of the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "A Single Life". He is a wealthy businessman and a pedophile who molested his two oldest daughters when they were 10 years old.

He was portrayed by Paul Hecht, who also portrayed Alex Merritt in the original Law & Order.


Sidarsky is the wealthy CEO of a textile company. He and his first wife had two girls, Gretchen and Susan, and he molested them both - first Gretchen, then Susan when Gretchen aged out of his prepubescent age preference. His wife either did not know of the abuse, or knew and did nothing to stop it. When Gretchen turned 16, she emancipated herself and got as far away from her family as she could, leaving Susan alone to suffer the brunt of their father's abuse.

After Sidarsky's first wife died, he remarried and fathered another daughter, who is 10 years old, the same age Gretchen and Susan had been when he molested them, by the time of the events of the episode.

In "A Single Life"

When Susan dies in what appears to be a murder, Special Victims Unit detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler investigate her personal life, learning that she suffered from severe depression and that she had a history of sleeping with married men, including her boss and her psychiatrist. Benson and Stabler also discover that she had a great deal of money from a trust established for her by her father, Robert Sidarsky.

The detectives inform Sidarsky of his daughter's death, and he is at first distraught, believing they are talking about his youngest child. When they tell him that it was in fact Susan who died, he appears relieved, and writes her off as having been "lost" to him for years.

They then interview Gretchen, whose cold, guarded reaction to her sister's death sounds alarm bells for Benson; she believes Gretchen was molested as a child, having dealt with several adult victims of child sexual abuse who exhibited the same demeanor. Upon discovering that Susan's death was in fact a suicide, they theorize that her depression stemmed from childhood sexual abuse; when they factor in Gretchen's probable abuse history, they come to the conclusion that Sidarsky molested both his daughters.

Benson and Stabler consult with Assistant District Attorney Abbie Carmichael, who says that, while the statute of limitations is up for the sexual abuse Sidarsky committed, he can still be prosecuted for it if they can prove that the abuse led to Susan's death. To prove that, they would need Gretchen's testimony.

Benson confronts Gretchen as she is about to leave New York City, and persuades her to help the SVU team put her father in prison by telling her that he will eventually abuse his youngest daughter, if he hasn't already. They bring Sidarsky in for questioning, and Gretchen angrily confronts him about what he did to her and Susan. Sidarsky at first claims to not know what she is talking about, then dismisses the abuse as something that "happened a long time ago", before finally threatening to take away her trust fund. Undaunted, Gretchen says she doesn't care about the money, and reads him Susan's suicide note before bursting into tears. Sidarsky is then arrested and presumably imprisoned for abusing his daughters.

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