Paula Patton

Precious star Paula Patton will join the cast of Law & Order: SVU in the fall, NBC announced Wednesday.

Patton will play Assistant District Attorney Mikka Von in multiple episodes, beginning with Episode 5. She fills the ADA slot left vacant by both Stephanie March, who won't return to SVU this fall, and guest star Sharon Stone.

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"When I saw Paula Patton give that terrific performance in the multi-Oscar nominated Precious, I knew she'd be perfect for SVU's new Assistant District Attorney — she's funny, warm and witty with a penchant for justice," executive producer Neal Baer said in a statement.

In Precious, Patton played Ms. Rain, a teacher who inspired Gabourey Sidibe's titular troubled teen.

SVU returns for its 12th season on Wednesday, Sept. 22.