NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The jury has begun deliberating in the case of a New York City police officer accused of raping a schoolteacher.
WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell On The Story
A 25-year-old schoolteacher alleged that, on August 19, 2011, officer Michael Pena asked her for directions. When she refused, he allegedly opened his jacket, displayed his gun, told her she was coming with him, and then proceeded to rape her in a courtyard on 217th Street in Manhattan.
In his closing argument Thursday, prosecutor Evan Krutoy told jurors that this is a case where we have a police officer with a loaded gun committing a rape in daylight in a public place where he’s confronted by one person, face-to-face, telling him to stop and by another person yelling out of a window.
Krutoy told the jury they have a victim who was a schoolteacher on her way to her first day on the job at a school in the Bronx, a woman who was very aware and not in a fog of fear. Krutoy said she was in self-preservation mode and the details she remembered were totally accurate.
The defense, for its part, argued that Pena did a terrible, unforgivable thing, but that technically it wasn’t a rape.
Defense attorney Ephraim Savitt said there would have been more DNA found it it were a rape.
The prosecutor said that, based on the DNA evidence, that is absurd, and discounted defense claims that the victim was unreliable.
Savitt said he didn’t want jurors to think his client would get away with what he did, saying Pena was there and showed the victim a gun.
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