The judge in charge of overseeing the trial of an off-duty police officer accused of raping a Manhattan teacher has declared a mistrial Wednesday as the jurors continued to disagree over two counts of rape charges.
Officer Michael Pena was off-duty and drunk when he allegedly forced a woman into an alley where he threatened her with a gun and raped her. Having been charged on three counts of criminal sexual act in the first degree and one count of a predatory sexual act, Pena will likely face life in prison if found guilty.
The judge, Richard D. Carruthers of the State Supreme Court in Manhattan, ordered the jury to continue to try to reach a verdict on Tuesday. But seeing the deadlock had not been resolved, he decided to end the trial.
Throughout the trial, Pena's lawyer maintained that Pena had not raped her because there was no intercourse. And though Pena had admitted attacking the 25-year-old woman and threatening to shoot her if she fought back, the jury could not decide whether Pena's assault constituted rape.
On witness testified that from 12 feet away, Pena seemed to be having intercourse with the woman and forensic investigators later found the victim's DNA on Pena's genitals, according to the NY Post.
In this brutal attack against an innocent young woman, the defendant showed no mercy, said District Attorney Cyrus Vance in a statement. At sentencing, we will recommend that he receive non.
Pena is set for sentencing on May 7.