New York News
NYPD rape trial of Officer Michael Pena goes to jury
NEW YORK -- The trial of an off-duty police officer accused of raping a schoolteacher has gone to a jury.
In closing arguments Thursday, prosecutors cited evidence of semen on the victim's underwear to counter defense claims that the officer, Michael Pena, didn't have intercourse during the assault.
The defense said the 25-year-old victim was in such "abject terror" after Pena threatened to "blow her face off" if she looked at him that she was mistaken about being penetrated.
Pena, who is charged with predator sexual assault and rape, has admitted attacking the woman but claims he didn't have intercourse with her during the assault. New York law imposes lighter punishments on would-be rapists who fail to complete the act.
Authorities allege Pena approached the woman at about 6 a.m. on Aug. 19 in upper Manhattan's Inwood neighborhood and asked her how to get to a subway stop. They say he then grabbed her, showed her his gun, ushered her several blocks to an apartment building backyard and raped her.
A resident of the building called 911, saying she saw from her window that something was amiss in the yard.
When officers arrived, the teacher ran to them and warned them Pena was armed, police said. Officers didn't realize Pena was a colleague until they found his police ID upon arresting him, they said.
Pena joined the New York Police Department in 2008. He has been suspended without pay and is being held at the Rikers Island jail on $500,000 bail.
Pena's case is the second rape trial involving city police officers in the last year. In May, a jury acquitted Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata of raping a woman but found them guilty of official misconduct, a misdemeanor.
The two were called to help the drunken woman get out of a cab in December 2008. The woman said she passed out and awoke to being raped.
Moreno said he cuddled with her in her bed but there was no sex. Mata said he was napping on her sofa.
Get Eyewitness News Delivered
new york city, nypd, police abuse allegation, police officer arrested, new york news
- Police search for missing 11-year old Brooklyn boy 19 min ago
- AccuWeather: Changeable Week
- Live: Eyewitness News on 7online streamed live!
- Get WATCH ABC for your mobile device
- Vietnam says cannot find object from missing jet
- Cherry Hill Mall parking dispute turns violent 43 min ago
- Squatters flee fire in Paterson; 2 vacant buildings gutted
- Photos: Fire guts 2 vacant Paterson buildings
- Man arrested for stealing money from donation box
- Liam Neeson tours stables amid carriage horse debate
- Toddler's FaceTime saves mother after dog bite
- Fire rips through seven houses in the Bronx 36 min ago
- Antonio Cromartie released by Jets
- Photos: 10 suspects caught in the act