A Manhattan murderer convicted of killing a mother of three is heading to prison for a long, long time — but his sentence isn’t nearly as severe as the one handed down to former NYPD officer Michael “Rape Cop” Pena, who currently is serving a 75 years to life prison sentence for the violent sexual attack of a young teacher last year.
Manhattan County District Attorney Cy Vance announced this afternoon that 28-year-old Joseph Pabon was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the 2009 murder and kidnapping of Eridania Rodriguez, a mother of three children.
You read that correctly, the murderer of a mother of three was hit with a less-severe sentence than a former cop who sexually attacked a teacher — and Pabon killed someone!
On July 7, 2009, Pabon, who was working as a freight elevator operator at an
office building at 2 Rector Street — where Rodriguez also worked as a
member of the cleaning staff — followed Rodriguez to the 8th floor
of the building, where he attacked her and suffocated her with
industrial tape. He then used the freight elevator that he
operated to move body to the 12th floor and hide it in an
air duct. Rodriquez’s body was found four days later.
As for the former officer, on 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.
He was caught at the scene — still zipping up his pants.
It goes without saying that each of these men are monsters who belong
in prison. However, something just seems fundamentally wrong when a murderer
gets a lesser sentence than a non-murderer — regardless of how
horrific his crime may be. Unfortunately, under the law, Pabon could only be sentenced to concurrent sentences for the kidnapping and murder charges — and his sentence is the maximum sentence allowed under the law. The judge in Pena’s case, however, had the authority to sentence the former officer to consecutive sentences for the three counts of predatory sexual assault of which he was convicted, which is why he’ll be spending (at least) the next 75 years behind bars.
Pena’s victim went through a horrific ordeal — one we wouldn’t wish
on anyone. But she came out of it alive. The same can’t be said for
Rodriguez, whose children will now grow up without a mother.
Pena — who had a clean criminal record prior to attacking his victim
— will likely die in prison for the drunken attack; he’s not eligible
for parole until he’s more than 100 years old. Pabon — who senselessly
murdered a mother of three for no apparent reason — could potentially
be out of prison before his 60th birthday.