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Ex-cop sentenced to 75 years for predatory sexual assault in New York

An ex-cop was sentenced to the maximum term for sexually assaulting a schoolteacher who was on her way to work. Michael Pena, who had been working as a law enforcement officer for three years at the time of the attack, was convicted of predatory sexual assault, among other charges, and was sentenced to 75 years to life for his crimes.

The school teacher was on her way to work when Pena, after a night filled with drinking, attacked her. Threatening her with his law police-issued gun, he forced her off of the street into an apartment. There, the woman claims she was raped by the former officer.

While Pena admitted the attack, he denied the rape. The jury did not come to a decision on the rape count, and the District Attorney has yet to announce whether it will retry Pena on the undecided rape counts.

The ex-cop was arrested at the scene after a resident of the apartment building where the attack occurred reported the incident to the police. Pena alleged that he did not remember the night due to his intoxication, but the judge found that his use of evasive tactics once the police arrived along with his actions recorded by surveillance videos demonstrated his knowledge of the crimes committed.

Pena's attorney said he may appeal the sentence, claiming that maximum sentence was unwarranted in this situation, the New Jersey Herald reported. The prosecutor, along with a local chapter of a women's rights organization thought the 75-year sentence was appropriate given the violent nature of the crime.

Source: New Jersey Herald, Ex-NYC policeman gets 75 years for sex attack, by Jennifer Peltz, May 7, 2012

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