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Friday, August 26, 2011

Charged Rapist Cop Investigated For Being Serial Rapist

NYPD investigating whether Officer Michael Pena, charged in teacher's rape, is a serial rapist
The New York Daily News by Bob Kappstatter - August 25, 2011

The NYPD is investigating whether a cop busted for allegedly attacking a school teacher in upper Manhattan last week is a serial rapist. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly made the startling disclosure Thursday when asked about Officer Michael Pena. "Investigators have picked out some [cases] that they think have the potential of having been perpetrated by this individual," Kelly said. Police released few details on the other attacks, saying only that they happened during the three years Pena has been on the force. Kelly didn't say where the other unsolved sex assaults occurred. Prosecutors said Pena, 27, was drunk about 6:45 a.m. on Aug. 19 when he approached a woman and asked her for directions. They said the off-duty cop showed the 25-year-old Bronx teacher his department-issued 9-mm handgun. "You're coming with me," he told the woman, according to police sources. The woman was dragged behind a building in Inwood and raped, police said. Officers from the 34th Precinct said they arrived to find the cop and the woman dressed, his gun on the ground. Pena, held on $500,000 bail, was indicted Wednesday. Assigned to the 33rd Precinct, the three-year cop has been suspended from the NYPD. Since the arrest, investigators have been checking DNA and police sketches for possible connections to other rapes. Kelly called the rape "a very, very disturbing case," and said the department has also been scrutinizing Pena's department records and his screening process. "I met with psychologists, the head of applicant processing - everyone that was involved with his coming into the department," Kelly said. "We found nothing remarkable, nothing exceptional in his background, that in hindsight should have been done." Kelly said it was "very disturbing that anyone with that tendency, or that potential, that capability at all, is a member of the New York City Police Department."

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