No Rape Conviction For "Rape Cop" Michael Pena Hardly Means He Beat The Rap

Categories: Bad Cop
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As we reported earlier, former New York City police officer Michael "Rape Cop" Pena has been convicted of several of the top charges against him for the vicious sexual assault of a teacher last summer. However, the jury was deadlocked on whether to convict him of two rape charges -- which is what the media has spent much of the day focusing on, causing people to freak out (below, we'll share some of the outrage found in comment sections of news stories about the lack of a rape conviction).

The narrative, as it's being presented by certain media outlets (we're lookin' at you, New York Post -- read the paper's lede to its recent Pena story here), is that a New York City cop beat a rape conviction, which technically is true, but fairly misleading

While the rape conviction probably was deserved, not getting one doesn't mean Pena's not headed to the hoosegow for a long, long time (75 years to life if he's sentenced to the max and the sentences run consecutively)

"Rape" is a powerful word, and it's easy to get hung up on it in a case like Pena's. But the crimes Pena was found guilty of -- in the legal sense -- actually are more serious offenses than rape.

Predatory sexual assault, a crime for which Pena is now thrice convicted, is the most serious sex crime in New York's penal code -- it's a class A-II felony. Rape, on the other hand, is a class B violent felony.

Predatory sexual assault is defined in New York penal code as follows:

A person is guilty of predatory sexual assault when he or she commits
the crime of rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first
degree, aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree, or course of sexual
conduct against a child in the first degree, as defined in this article,
and when:
1. In the course of the commission of the crime or the immediate
flight therefrom, he or she:
(a) Causes serious physical injury to the victim of such crime; or
(b) Uses or threatens the immediate use of a dangerous instrument; or
2. He or she has engaged in conduct constituting the crime of rape in
the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, aggravated
sexual abuse in the first degree, or course of sexual conduct against a
child in the first degree, as defined in this article, against one or
more additional persons; or
3. He or she has previously been subjected to a conviction for a
felony defined in this article, incest as defined in section 255.25 of
this chapter or use of a child in a sexual performance as defined in
section 263.05 of this chapter.

Basically, you can think of predatory sexual assault as being like a sex crime plus -- it's rape, or a criminal sexual act, where other factors are present that make the crime more heinous.

The difference between rape and criminal sexual act isn't the seriousness of the offense, but the orifice that's violated (rape is strictly vaginal intercourse, where criminal sexual act is oral or anal contact).  

We hate to be crass, but this means Pena is guilty of forcing his penis into the victim's mouth or anus.

The jury's decision to not convict Pena of rape is bizarre; basically, the jurors deadlock indicates that they agreed that Pena was pinning down the victim and sexually assaulting her, but they couldn't decide whether his penis -- at any point during the assault -- touched her vagina (according to the law, rape is any vaginal penetration, "however slight"). 

Regardless, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has pledged to show the former officer "no mercy" at his sentencing hearing in May, at which point Vance will likely ask the judge for the maximum sentence. If he gets it, Pena wouldn't even see a parole board until he's more than 100 years old.

So, Pena may not technically be a "rapist," but hardly beat the rap -- which doesn't mean he's not a worthless creep, don't get us wrong.

Now that we're clear on what predatory sexual assault is, let's take look at some of the comments -- inspired by the sexy narrative of "Cop Beats Rape Charge" presented by certain media outlets -- found posted on stories about Pena's case.

Alan Cohen posted the following on the New York Post's website: "I commented on this case a few days ago and said that a few of the jurors were in the pocket of the defense---this is horrible what has happened to this woman--now shes been raped by the legal system."

Marty Cohen posted this gem, also on the Post's website: "not the first time and not the last time [police] get away with rape and murder."

"IHEARTNYC" left this comment on the New York Daily News' website: "It was deliberate.. Too many coincidences... She needs to demand a state probe.. The DA, JUDGE, JURY and NYPD need to be put through the ringer.. She was victimized by a junkie of power and now these other idiots are doing the same to save their boy... If I was her, I would be demanding alot more... There is something very wrong. My heart goes out her and hope she will find comfort again..."

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8 comments
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loulai
loulai

Just a hunch: Pena beat the rape conviction because there were lawyers on the jury. Ordinaray people know what rape is and here they specifically have the victim's testimony that there was vaginal penetration. This is a NYC verdict and it bodes ill for people who cannot afford to leave the politically correct-how many angels can dance on the head of a pin cesspool.

lava
lava

It does't matter if he will still go to jail, it is wrong to find him not guilty of rape.People were saying it was deliberate because reports say 1 juror said not guilty for rape, the juror is Lloyd Constantine, Gov Spitzer's former senior advisor and he knows the D.A. He did not say he has involvement with the D.A during jury selection, they only found out about this in last few days, the judge said it was no problem.. Maybe I'm wrong but I never heard of a mistrial that ends without a new jury and outcome.. This is why people are upset. There were 4 lawyers on the panel. In all my time being a juror i never served with a lawyer

Brendan A. MacWade
Brendan A. MacWade

But that fails to explain why Contantine would push against the rape charge. He doesn't know the accused. What was his motivation besides being an idiot?

lava
lava

 I have no idea,, Someone should ask him. Hes the one who pushed against the rape charge.

frankie
frankie

i dont get it. in the moreno rape trial they would not believe the  victim because she  was highly intoxicated. and in the pena rape trial they took the  word of a highly intoxicated rapise against the victim. something is  radically wrong with the jury system.

i hate patriarchy
i hate patriarchy

Yeah, it's called SEXISM and it's worse than racism because no one gives a shit.

Brendan A. MacWade
Brendan A. MacWade

Juries watch too much CSI. They want graphic DNA evidence. 

lava
lava

 its now reported NY times--there were 5 lawyers on the jury.

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