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
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.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 21, 2012