A former police officer returned to court Monday for sentencing for a gunpoint rape Monday. Although he pleaded guilty to the charge, his lawyer says the punishment is cruel and unjust. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
He received 10 years to life for raping a school teacher while he pointed his gun at her but former NYPD officer Michael Pena had nothing to say at his sentencing.
"Obviously he realizes that he destroyed his life, that he affected another young woman's life in a terrible way. And that he has disappointed his family, his colleagues on the police force. He is a broken man,” said Ephraim Savitt, Pena’s defense attorney.
Back in May, Pena was sentenced to 75 years to life in prison after a jury convicted him of sodomizing and attacking the teacher in 2011. The jury deadlocked on the actual rape charges.
But instead of going through a new trial, Pena and the Manhattan District Attorney's office agreed he would plead guilty and be sentenced to 10 years to life for the rape. It will be served at the same time as his previous 75-year sentence.
Judge Richard Carruthers said the only reason he agreed to the 10 years is "to spare the victim from having to confront her tormentor yet again."
Last August, when he was off duty, Pena threatened to shoot the teacher in the face with his police-issued 9MM weapon while he attacked her in an alleyway in upper Manhattan. He said he was drunk.
Pena's attorney said he will be appealing. He said 75 years to life is just too much time for the crime the former officer committed.
"In a situation such as this where, thankfully, the victim, albeit with a scar, continues to function, to put someone away until he is 103 years old is an extraordinary punishment,” Savitt said.
He said Pena doesn't want to leave prison in a coffin.