Michael Pena, the off-duty NYPD officer accused of raping a teacher in Inwood, was indicted and arraigned today on five counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of first-degree rape, and three counts of a criminal sexual act in the first degree, reports DNA Info. He pleaded not guilty, and has apparently asked if his case could be fast-tracked (he’s engaged and had planned to get married prior to his arrest — he still hopes to marry his fiancee “if he is cleared of the charges”).
Pena, who’s confessed to being drunk at the time, allegedly forced the woman to have sex at gunpoint after asking her for directions. He has admitted to sexual contact, but not to rape:
Hours after his arrest, suspended NYPD officer Michael Pena, 27, told an officer, “I wanted to call my girlfriend but how am I going to call her when I got arrested for cheating with another girl?” according to court papers released on Wednesday.
According to Pena’s lawyer, Ephraim Savitt, the now-former cop’s girlfriend is sticking with him. Savitt made reference today to the high-profile cases of Dominique Strauss-Kahn (dismissed) and Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Matta, two NYPD officers acquitted of rape charges, saying, “It remains to be seen if it’s strike three for the DA’s office.”
D.A. Cy Vance, Jr., said, “It is all the more disturbing that the defendant in this case was committed to investigating cases of sexual assault in Manhattan and bringing the perpetrators to justice.”