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NYPD officer Michael Pena convicted of sex crimes, but jury deadlocks on rape

Michael Pena
CBS New York
(CBS/AP) NEW YORK - A jury found former NYPD officer Michael Pena guilty of grabbing a schoolteacher off a street and sexually assaulting her at gunpoint while he was off duty, although jurors deadlocked on rape charges.

The Manhattan district attorney said Wednesday jurors "did not reach consensus" on two counts of rape and two related charges against Pena.

Pena, who was convicted by the same jury Tuesday on six counts of predatory sexual assault and first-degree criminal sexual act for sodomizing her, will be sentenced on May 7. 

The New York Daily News reports the partial verdict that could still send Pena to prison for life.

Pena, an officer for three years, was suspended by the New York Police Department following his arrest. The NYPD fired him on Tuesday.

CBS New York reports that the victim, a 26-year-old second grade school teacher, testified Pena forced her at gunpoint off an Inwood street last August and raped her, threatening to shoot her in the face if she resisted.

"I was scared for my life," the victim told jurors earlier this month.

Pena admits to sexually attacking the woman, but denies raping her.

The defense said the victim was in such "abject terror" that she was mistaken about the extent of what happened.

A resident of the building heard the woman repeatedly scream "no," saw what was happening and called police to say there appeared to be "sex going on that is not consensual" in the courtyard, according to the witness' testimony and a recording of her 911 call.

The Daily News reported no explanation was given by jurors for their failure to reach a rape verdict. One juror threw the trial into chaos when it was revealed he played tennis with Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance.

In a statement, Vance commended the victim "for her bravery."

"In this brutal attack against an innocent young woman, the defendant showed no mercy," he said. "At sentencing, we will recommend that he receive none."


  • Crimesider Staff

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