NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Michael Pena, the 27-year-old police officer accused of raping a 25-year-old teacher in Inwood last week, is speaking out from behind bars.
In a jailhouse interview from Rikers Island, Pena told the Daily News he knows why he is being targeted by the Manhattan District Attorney.
Pointing to the recent acquittal of two other officers accused of rape Pena said, “The DA is arresting cops, indicting cops…they’re trying to make an example out of me.”
Though he would not directly address the charges against him he said “there’s a lot I want to say about this” and that the “truth will eventually come out.” He added that “there are shades of gray.”
Police said the alleged rape happened Friday morning behind an apartment building in Inwood. Pena, drunk and in plain clothes, asked a woman for directions, police say.
He allegedly put his arm around her saying “You’re coming with me” while letting the victim see the service revolver in his belt. Police found Pena’s gun at the scene. A neighbor who was watching called 9-1-1.
“She just heard noises and…it looked like somebody was being attacked, so she called the cops,” the neighbor’s roommate told CBS 2’s John Slattery.
Pena has worked at the 33rd Precinct since 2008 and his family says he is engaged to be married. He is being held on $1 million bond. The officer has also been suspended and due back in court on August 24.
“He was very proud, very proud to be a police officer. And he was, this is just a surprise for us. This is a very difficult time for the family,” Pena’s aunt, Ramona, told CBS 2.
In May, officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata were acquitted of raping a drunken woman in her East Village apartment in 2008.
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