Officer Convicted in Sexual Assault

A jury on Tuesday found a police officer guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in Upper Manhattan last August, but it remained deadlocked on two rape counts.

The officer, Michael Pena, 27, was found guilty of three counts of criminal sexual assault and three counts of predatory sexual assault, which carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Although the jurors said they remained at an impasse on the two rape counts, Justice Richard D. Carruthers of State Supreme Court in Manhattan ordered them to resume deliberations.

Officer Pena had been out drinking and pursuing women unsuccessfully for about six hours when he came upon the victim just after 6 a.m. on Aug. 19, prosecutors said. The woman, 25, was waiting on the sidewalk for a ride to her first day at a new job, teaching second grade.

The woman testified that Officer Pena displayed a gun, and had threatened to shoot her in the face if she made any noise or opened her eyes during the attack, which took place in a courtyard behind an apartment building.

Ephraim Savitt, Officer Pena’s lawyer, acknowledged that his client had committed a brutal attack, but said the prosecution had not proved that he actually penetrated the victim.

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