Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Season 8, Episode 21

Pretend (15 May 2007)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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The investigation into an extreme fighting death leads to the discovery of a 28-year-old woman posing as a 16-year-old high school student.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. George Huang (as B.D. Wong) (credit only)
Cassandra Sullivan
Scott Heston
Sonia Briglund


The investigation into an extreme fighting death leads to the discovery of a 28-year-old woman posing as a 16-year-old high school student.

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detective john munch | See All (1) »






Release Date:

15 May 2007 (USA)  »

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This episode was loosely based on the story of Treva Throneberry. Shortly after graduating high school in 1987, Throneberry traveled the United States claiming to be an underage teenager She attended many high schools and lived in many foster and group homes throughout the US. In 1998 she moved to Vancouver, Washington, and as sixteen-year-old Brianna Stewart enrolled in Evergreen High School. After graduating in 2000, she attended Clark College. In January 2001 she tried to get an official birth certificate so she could obtain a Social Security number. When her fingerprints were checked, her original identity was revealed, leading to her arrest in Vancouver, Washington. On March 22, 2001, Throneberry was arrested for theft, fraud, and perjury for trying to obtain legal documents with false identity. She had defrauded the state for foster care and college tuition worth $4,670. She could not raise bail of $20,000. Other charges around the country also increased the load. Throneberry continued to insist that she was Brianna Stewart and refused to acknowledge her parents. Authorities proved her original identity with fingerprints and DNA testing. Psychologists and lawyers began to study her, trying to find out if she was a con artist or delusional. Her trial started in November 2001 in Vancouver. State prosecutors charged that Throneberry was a con artist who had intentionally taken advantage of the social security system for personal gain. Throneberry fired her court-appointed lawyer and decided to defend herself in court. She was not successful and received three years and two months for fraud and perjury and was sent to the Washington Correction Center for Women. The judge recommended that she receive psychotherapy in prison. Throneberry was released on June 18, 2003, after two years. As of 2003, she continued to maintain that she is Brianna Stewart and tried to appeal her fraud conviction. See more »


Cassandra's doctor incorrectly states that wisdom teeth only erupt in adulthood. While it is true that in most cases wisdom teeth only erupt after age 17, they can erupt much earlier. - The doctor didn't say "only", she made a generalized statement that they come in during adulthood and was a clue which lead to a further examination. See more »


Oliver Gates: I want to report a rape.
Detective Elliot Stabler: One of your clients take advantage of you, counselor?
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