MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — Disgraced former NYPD Officer Michael Pena pleaded guilty Wednesday to raping a teacher at gunpoint in Inwood — charges a jury that had convicted him of sexual assault deadlocked on in March.
Pena's lawyer, Efraim Savitt, said his client decided to accept the plea deal because the district attorney's office was planning on pursuing a new trial on the rape charges and Pena didn't want to put his family through that. Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Richard Carruthers also said it would spare the victim.
In May, Pena was sentenced to 75 years to life after jurors convicted him of grabbing the 25-year-old victim off the street and sexually assaulting her in an Inwood alley.
He had been found guilty on three counts of predatory sexual assault for the August 2011 attack, but the jury couldn't reach a decision on rape charges because there were questions about whether he penetrated the victim, leading to a mistrial on those counts.
On Thursday, Pena told Carruthers he was guilty of two counts of rape in the first degree, as well as two counts of predatory sexual assault, which stemmed from his use of a gun during the attack.
As a result of the plea deal, Pena was sentenced to 10 years to life for each count, which he'll serve simultaneously with his 75-years-to-life sentence.
Still, Savitt said he is appealing the sentence, which is three consecutive 25-years-to-life terms, a prison stint Savitt called "astronomical."