Crime and Courts

Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Key Witness in Cop Rape Trial “Disturbed” by Verdict

Amy Bishop, who called 911 twice on the night of the attack, told the Daily News she's disappointed by the jury's failure to convict Michael Pena of rape

The key witness in the rape trial of a former NYPD officer says she's "disturbed" by the jury's failure to convict him of the charge.

Amy Bishop, who testified during the trial that she saw Michael Pena having nonconsensual sex with a woman in an Inwood apartment courtyard last August, told the Daily News: "I know what I saw. I am disturbed by the fact that they didn't come back with a guilty verdict."

Pena was convicted on six counts last Tuesday, including predatory sexual assault. But the jury, after deliberating into Wednesday on the two charges of first-degree rape, could not agree on those counts.

Bishop, a special education teacher, called 911 to report the incident. Three jurors doubted her claims because she could not remember the color of the car near the crime scene.

Listen to Bishop's 911 call

"That's ridiculous," she told the Daily News. "“Perfect cases are only on ‘Law & Order.'"

"It disturbs me that the landscape of the whole picture was lost,” Bishop continued. “Some of it you just have to use common sense. When common sense can be so easily swayed, in a big picture, it disturbs me.”

The victim had testified that Pena forced her into an apartment courtyard and raped her at gunpoint. Pena's defense lawyer said Pena admits attacking the woman but never completed intercourse with her.

Bishop declined to detail her original courtroom testimony to the Daily News, saying she wanted to preserve the integrity of her account in case she is called to the stand again.

Pena, who was automatically terminated from the NYPD when he was convicted of sexual assault, is scheduled to be sentenced in May.

Queens Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas said Friday she plans to introduce a bill to broaden the definition of rape to include oral, anal and aggravated sexual assault.

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