The New York Post and the Daily News devote their front pages to the same story Tuesday. Well, the Daily News really devotes their front page, giving nearly the entire cover, minus a banner at top, to the story of Michael Pena, who was sentenced to 75 years to life in prison yesterday on three counts of predatory sexual assault. For the Daily News, this makes for yet another cover on the story, and presents a follow up to their front-page question posed back in March: "What does a woman have to do to prove she was raped?"
It's a not irrelevant question to remember, since while the tabloid calls Pena a "rape cop," (a term we also heard with regard to former NYPD officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata, who were ultimately acquitted of rape but charged with official misconduct), Pena was not, in fact, convicted of rape. That particular charge led to a deadlocked jury, reportedly over a matter so seemingly inconsequential as the victim not being able to remember the color of a car parked in a courtyard.
As the News' Melissa Grace, Thomas Zambito, Tracy Connor, and Corky Siemaszko wrote in March: a "Manhattan jury made up of highly educated professionals refused to convict Officer Michael Pena of rape for a startling reason—the victim could not recall the color of a car parked by the courtyard where she was forced to her knees, sources told The Daily News Thursday." Manhattan lawyer Lloyd Constantine, a man with "professional and social ties to both Mr. Vance and his opponent in the last election," as Ross Buettner put it in The New York Times, was pointed to as a trial "meddler" who may have stirred up the jury and lead to the deadlock.