NEW YORK – A state appeals court on Thursday denied a bid by a former NYPD cop who raped an elementary school teacher to get his 75 year prison sentence reduced. Michael Pena’s lawyer had argued the lengthy prison term for his client was “an injustice” and “politically motivated and media-intensified vengeance” by the judge who sentenced him. He “was punished more harshly than Al Qaeda terrorists, vicious killers, kingpin narcotics offenders, violent gangsters and racketeers,” his lawyer, Ephraim Savitt, argued in court papers.
His victim, Lydia Cuomo, said the monster got what he deserved. The drunken off-duty cop had grabbed her off the street at gunpoint and forced her into a courtyard, where he repeatedly violated her before he was arrested by his now-former colleagues. Pena, 30, was convicted at trial in 2012 of forcing anal and oral sex on Cuomo, but jurors couldn’t agree on a rape charge. That led to a Daily News front page demanding, “What does a woman have to do to prove she was raped?” Pena later pleaded guilty to having raped her vaginally as well, in an apparent bid for leniency from the appeals court. (Daily News).