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Cop convicted of sexual assault, jury deadlocked on rape charges

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A Manhattan jury convicted Michael Pena, 27, the alleged "gunpoint rape cop," of predatory sexual assault Tuesday while remaining deadlocked on four counts involving rape and the use of his service revolver to threaten her into submission.

The partial verdict - which could land Pena 25 years to life in prison - found the three-year veteran on suspension from the NYPD guilty of six counts of forced sexual contact with the charter school teacher at gunpoint.

The verdict was announced after the shocking revelation that one of the jurors had been acquainted with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance but failed to disclose his acquaintanceship during jury selection because he felt he could deliberate without bias.

A prior relationship could be grounds for a mistrial, but when the judge announced the apparent conflict, Pena's defense attorney, Ephraim Savitt, told the court, "He's saying he's neutral. I can live with that," according to the Daily News.

Pena, who had spent the night of August 18 in Inwood drinking heavily while watching strippers, hitting on a waitress and making unreturned calls to escort services, admitted threatening the 25-year-old woman with a gun and attacking her the next morning, but has denied he is guilty of rape, contending he did not penetrate her vaginally. Two witnesses testified to seeing Pena attack the woman.

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