Michael "Rape Cop" Pena Pleads Guilty To Additional Charges; No Time Added To Extreme Life-Sentence
Michael "Rape Cop" Pena will likely die in prison.
Michael "Rape Cop" Pena did something today that's somewhat admirable; rather than put his victim through the torture of another trial, he pleaded guilty to additional charges stemming from his attack on a 25-year-old teacher -- charges on which a jury deadlocked when he was convicted of three counts of predatory sexual assault in March.
Pena -- who's already serving a 75 years to life prison sentence for the brutal sexual attack on the teacher last year -- pleaded guilty this morning to two counts of rape and two more counts of predatory sexual assault, which means he's now officially a "Rape Cop."
"Michael Pena took responsibility for his violent criminal actions and will serve up to life in prison," Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance says. "This plea spares the victim from testifying again about the crimes committed against her, and it is my hope this resolution brings a brave young teacher a measure of justice and closure."
People were outraged earlier this year when the jury couldn't reach a verdict on the rape charges. Despite getting convicted of three counts of predatory sexual assault -- which is a more serious offense than rape in the eyes of the law -- members of the media suggested that Pena "beat the rap." As we argued at the time, Pena hardly beat any rap (more on that here) -- he was convicted of the most serious felonies with which he was charged and hit with a sentence that will pretty much guarantee that he'll die in prison.
Pena's crimes are pretty depraved -- on the morning of August 19, a
drunken Pena attacked the 25-year-old victim in the courtyard at an
apartment building at 83 Park Terrace. Using his
NYPD-issued pistol, Pena threatened the victim into going into the courtyard, where he sexually assaulted her repeatedly in broad daylight.
Pena was caught at the scene -- still zipping up his pants.
Forensic investigators found traces of the victim's DNA on Pena's penis, and Pena's DNA on the victim's underwear.
For the latest convictions, Pena was sentenced to 10 more years in prison and 20 years supervised release. However, the sentence will run concurrent with the sentences he's currently serving -- so he's not receiving any additional time.
As we've previously argued, Pena is, without a doubt, a despicable human being who deserves to be locked away for a long, long time. However, 75 years to life is a bit much -- especially when you consider that he has no prior convictions, and that it's essentially a life sentence for rape (Pena won't even see a parole board until he's more than 100 years old). Not to mention, murderers are often sentenced to less time than Pena -- and they killed somebody.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.