MANHATTAN — A police officer accused of raping a woman in Inwood last week says he's being targeted by the District Attorney's office so they can "make an example" out of him, according to the New York Daily News.
Michael Pena, 27, says he's been charged because the DA is arresting cops after a jury acquitted two officers accused of raping a woman in her Lower East Side apartment earlier this year, the News reported.
"The DA is arresting cops, indicting cops," Pena told the News.
"Everything's not black and white," he added to the News about the charges set against him. "There are shades of gray."
Michael Pena, 27, a three-year veteran assigned to the 33rd Precinct, was charged with one count of first degree rape, two counts of criminal sex act in the first degree and three counts of predatory sexual assault and was held on $500,000 cash bail or $1 million bond.
He faces up to life in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors and police said Pena asked the 25-year-old victim for directions to the 1 train around 6:30 a.m. Friday, and then sexually assaulted her at gunpoint behind a building on Park Terrace West when she refused.
Pena, who sources say was drunk, was arrested when neighbors heard the commotion and called the cops.
Investigators later found his shield and police ID as well as a loaded 9mm gun on the ground nearby, according to court papers. They also found the victim's cellphone on a nearby rooftop.
At his arraignment Saturday, the suspect's attorney, Juan Campos, said that the allegations would be totally out of character for the officer, who he described as "soft-spoken" and "peaceful" in court.
"If it is true, it is a complete aberration and a contradiction to who my client is," Campos said.
Pena is due back in court on Aug. 24.