New York Police Officer Accused of Rape Is Engaged, Family Says
The off-duty cop who allegedly flashed his service weapon and raped a woman in upper Manhattan is engaged to be married, it was revealed yesterday as he was arraigned on the disturbing charges.
Michael Pena, 27, who works out of the 33rd Precinct, proposed to his longtime girlfriend several months ago, said his relatives, who defended his character.
The hulking officer was slapped with charges of rape, criminal sex act and predatory sexual assault -- and held on $500,000 cash bail or $1 million bond.
Pena, who appeared in court in a scruffy beard and blue T-shirt and blue pants, looked at the floor during the proceeding with his hands behind his back.
He allegedly pointed his department-issued 9-mm. at a 25-year-old Bronx school teacher around 6:30 a.m. Friday and forced her to the rear of an Inwood apartment building where he savagely raped her, prosecutors said.
Moments before the attack, according to police, the officer innocuously approached the teacher for train directions -- and then put his arm around his scared victim and snapped, "You're coming with me!"
The three-year veteran then allegedly raped her.
Pena's attorney Juan Campos described him as a "very soft-spoken" cop with a clean record, who joined the force immediately after graduating from Humanities HS in Manhattan.
"If these allegations are true, I believe it is a complete aberration," he said.
"I'm not saying alcohol excuses this, if that's true, but it may explain certain behavior," the lawyer added.
Two witnesses desperately called 911 to report the attack on West Park Terrace and West 217 Street.