Thursday, October 23, 2014

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Former NYPD Officer Gets 75 Years In Sexual Assault

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The former New York City Police Department officer convicted of sexually assaulting a Manhattan teacher was sentenced Monday to 75 years to life behind bars.

Michael Pena was convicted in March of predatory sexual assault and criminal sexual act for attacking a 25-year-old woman near her Inwood apartment last August.

Prosecutors say Pena was off duty on August 19 when he forced the woman into a courtyard using his NYPD-issued gun and sexually assaulted her.

During the sentencing the teacher gave a victim's impact statement and said every part of her has been affected adding, "My life has been shattered."

Pena's attorney acknowledged his client did assault the victim, but says he didn't rape her.

"My client did not really react, I mean he is at least as shocked as I am with this sentence. It seems like there are terrorists getting less time than my client. There are mass murderers getting less time than my sentence and its just an absolutely Draconian sentence," said Defense Attorney Ephraim Savitt.

At one point, Pena apologized to the victim, her family and his family and said, "I will always carry the shame and burden" and "I have no explanation for what happened that day."

The judge said Pena's claim that he was drunk was false and that he was possessed, vicious and devious.

The National Organization for Women says the victim was truly courageous to testify in open court.

"The outcome today will hopefully bring some resolve for the victim, allow her to move on with her life and send a message that we take rape seriously here in new New York City," said Sonia Ossorio of NYC NOW.

Although Pena was convicted of predatory sexual assault, jurors were unable to reach a verdict on two counts of rape and other related charges.

The Manhattan district attorney's office says it may re-try Pena on on those charges.

Pena's attorney says he plans to appeal the case.

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