Updated 03/28/2012 04:55 PM
Mistrial Declared On Remaining Charges In Pena Rape Case
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A Manhattan judge declared a mistrial Wednesday on the remaining charges against a now former city police officer who was found guilty of sexually assaulting a teacher near her home last summer.
Weeping could be heard in the courtroom from the victim as the foreman told the judge they had no verdict on the rape charges.
On Tuesday, jurors convicted Michael Pena of predatory sexual assault and criminal sex act.
The judge then sent the jury back to deliberate on the two rape counts and two additional counts of predatory sexual assault.
The New York City Police Department fired Pena upon his conviction and stripped away his pension.
Defense attorneys maintain Pena assaulted the woman but say he did not rape her.
"Frankly, I made a motion for a mistrial yesterday. They've been deliberating almost as long as it took to try the case. So yeah, of course it made sense. It wouldn't make sense to continue," said Defense Attorney Ephraim Savitt.
Prosecutors say Pena stalked the 25-year-old teacher last August as she was headed for her first day of school and took her at gunpoint into an Inwood alley where he forced her to have oral and anal sex.
In a statement, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said, "I want to first commend the victim for her bravery, and thank the jury for its service. In this brutal attack against an innocent young woman, the defendant showed no mercy. At sentencing, we will recommend that he receive none."
Pena's attorney says he still plans to ask the judge to set aside the verdict.
"I believe that the law is unconstitutional based on the vagueness of the definition of criminal sexual act. And if a statute is vague, it is void under the due process clause," Savitt said.
Pena still faces life in prison when he is sentenced on May 7.