Society

Police Officer Who Raped Woman Calls His Prison Sentence 'An Injustice'

| by Jonathan Wolfe

Ex-NYPD cop and convicted rapist Michael Pena is calling his 75-year prison sentence for the rape of Lydia Cuomo “politically motivated” and an “injustice.”

Pena pleaded guilty in June 2012 to raping school teacher Lydia Cuomo. Cuomo was on the way to her first day of work at her new job when Pena, on his way home from a drunken night out, forced her into an apartment courtyard and raped her.

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Pena was also convicted of predatory sexual assault – a felony offense that involves wielding a weapon during a sex crime. After abducting Cuomo, he pulled out a .9mm gun issued to him through the NYPD and threatened to “blow her head off” if she didn’t do what he told her to.

Though Pena pleaded guilty to his charges, his attorney says the sentence handed to Pena doesn’t fit the crime.

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Attorney Ephraim Savitt said the 75 year sentence is the harshest “ever imposed in the modern era in this country for a first-time sex crime offender that did not result in the death, maiming or permanent physical disability of his victim…

“Even in cases of rape by serial rapists, or of brutal thugs that physically beat and slash their victims, punishment has been generally considerably lower than Pena’s sentence,” Savitt said.

The attorney went on to call the sentence an example of “media-intensified vengeance” and said Pena is being sentenced more harshly than “Al Qaeda terrorists, vicious killers, kingpin narcotics offenders, violent gangsters and racketeers.”

Try as Pena might to paint himself as a victim, the woman forever scarred by his crime feels no more sympathy for him than he felt for her on the night she was raped.

“Seventy-five years? I still have my entire life with this and I did nothing to ask for it,” Cuomo said. “I do think the punishment fits the crime.”

Sources: New York Daily News, Huffington Post