As we reported Monday, “Rape Cop” Michael Pena is headed to the hoosegow for what likely will be the rest of his life. Pena was sentenced to 75 years to life in prison — the maximum sentence — after getting convicted of three counts of predatory sexual assault for the vicious sexual attack of a teacher in broad daylight last summer. Click here if you’re unfamiliar with the case.
The sentence means Pena won’t even see a parole board until he’s 103 years old. In other words, it’s a life sentence — for a sex crime — which many (especially Pena’s attorney) argue is excessive.
As commenters on our blog have pointed out, there are murderers who didn’t receive sentences as harsh as Pena’s — and they ended someone’s life.
Just a recent example, but rapper G-Dep was sentenced yesterday to 15 years to life for the 1993 murder of a Queens man during a robbery-gone-wrong in East Harlem. Again, he killed someone. Yet, he’ll likely be a free man at some point in his natural life. Pena: not so much.
That said, Pena’s crimes are absolutely despicable. The fact that he was a cop at the time makes the whole thing even worse. But should he really spend more time in prison than a murderer?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 9, 2012