Cop Accused of Rape May Have Struck Before, Police Say
DOWNTOWN — The NYPD is investigating whether a cop accused of raping a teacher at gunpoint in Inwood is connected to unsolved sexual assaults that occurred during his three years with the department, according to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
"They picked out some [sexual assaults] that they think have potential of having been perpetrated by him," Kelly said at a press conference at police headquarters Thursday.
Specifically, investigators were looking at two cases, but it was not immediately clear which ones.
Neighborhood politicians have also asked for any other victims to come forward, but it's not clear if any have.
Pena, 27, has been charged with raping the 25-year-old victim early on Aug. 19 after dragging her behind a building on Park Terrace West at gunpoint. He is being held on $500,000 cash bail or $1 million bond.
The psychologist who heads the NYPD's applicant process said that based on the allegations against Pena, there is a possibility he may have been involved in other assaults, Kelly said.
"They believe it certainly is possible that something else happened in the past," Kelly said.
However, there was nothing "remarkable or exceptional" in Pena's background that should have raised a red flag during his application process, Kelly said.
"What we did do is take an in-depth look at how the individual came into the department," Kelly said. "We have looked at his conduct reports while a member of the department."
Pena is accused of asking the victim for directions to a 1 train stop in Inwood early in the morning while she was on the way to work. He then allegedly showed her a gun and forced her behind a building on Park Terrace West where he assaulted her.
Kelly said the fact that Pena was a police officer made the case even more troubling.
"This is a very, very disturbing case," he said.
Pena was named in a civil suit that alleged brutality against a suspect after he was arrested in Harlem in 2009.
According to the court documents, Pena and another officer allegedly used excessive force in detaining Anthony Mosley at a building on 132nd Street and Lenox Avenue, causing "serious physical injuries."
The documents say that the officers conducted a body cavity search which caused Mosley to suffer "humiliation, emasculation and loss of dignity."
"The...unlawful strip search and false imprisonment was so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community," the 2010 complaint says.
The case was settled for $25,000, according to the New York City Law Department and the officers admitted no wrongdoing.
The NYPD did not immediately respond to requests from DNAinfo for comment.