Former Phoenix police officer acquitted of sexual assault charges in second trial




  • In US
  • 2022-08-18 03:25:48Z
  • By AZCentral | The Arizona Republic
Trial coverage
Trial coverage  

Former Phoenix police officer Sean Pena was found not guilty by a Maricopa County jury of the remaining five charges of suspected sex crimes that he was accused of committing in 2018 and 2019.

Maricopa County Superior Court Spokesperson Vincent Funari told The Arizona Republic the second trial lasted ten days, and concluded on Monday morning when a jury found him not guilty.

The first trial ended on May 19 with two not guilty charges and a hung jury on the remaining five charges against him, Funari told The Republic in May.

Pena was accused of sexually assaulting three women while on duty during his time as a Phoenix police officer. Pena was fired from the Phoenix Police Department in July 2020.

On May 19, Pena was found not guilty of one sexual assault charge and one unlawful sexual conduct charge, Funari said.

The indictment in the case showed counts three and four were from an incident that occurred "on or about June 1, 2019." The claim was made by Krystofer Lee.

She claimed to be handcuffed after a welfare check, placed in Pena's patrol car, then molested and raped by him, court documents stated.

Another woman claimed Pena raped her in August 2018 while she was handcuffed in the back of his patrol car, a probable cause statement said. The statement said Pena's DNA was not found on the swabs of a rape kit .

A third woman named Lisa Gutierrez claimed Pena sexually assaulted her twice on the same day in August 2019 after she called Phoenix police for an incident that involved a family friend, court documents stated.

Nearly a month after Pena was fired from the police force, Pena was indicted on three counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual abuse and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct of a peace officer. He entered a not guilty plea, according to court documents.

Lee and Gutierrez were both awarded $425,000 in settlements in 2021 after separate lawsuits filed against the city of Phoenix.

Reach breaking news reporter Jodicee Arianna at Jodicee.Harris@gannett.com.

Republic reporter Chelsea Curtis contributed to this article.

Support local journalism, subscribe to https://www.azcentral.com/.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Former Phoenix police officer acquitted of sexual assault charges

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