Mixed verdicts of not guilty and hung jury for former Phoenix police officer accused of sexual assault




  • In US
  • 2022-05-20 00:27:23Z
  • By AZCentral | The Arizona Republic
Sean Pena was accused of sexually assaulting three women while on duty as a Phoenix police officer.
Sean Pena was accused of sexually assaulting three women while on duty as a Phoenix police officer.  

The trial for former Phoenix police officer Sean Pena ended Thursday with a not guilty verdict for two charges and a hung jury in the remaining five charges against him, a Maricopa County Superior Court spokesperson confirmed for The Arizona Republic.

Pena was accused of sexually assaulting three women while on duty as a Phoenix police officer.

On Thursday, a jury found Pena not guilty of one of the sexual assault charges and one of the unlawful sexual conduct charges against him, Maricopa County Superior Court spokesperson Vincent Funari told The Republic.

Those charges correlated with counts three and four of the indictment, Funari said. The indictment shows counts three and four stemmed from an incident that occurred "on or about June 1, 2019," which was when a claim with one woman, Krystofer Lee, occurred.

The jury was hung on the other five charges against Pena and a status conference was scheduled for June 21, according to Funari.

The claims

Krystofer Lee claimed she was handcuffed after a welfare check, placed in Pena's vehicle then molested and raped by him in June 2019, according to court documents.

One woman claimed Pena raped her in August 2018 while she was handcuffed in the back of his patrol vehicle, according to a probable cause statement. A rape kit was performed, but Pena's DNA was not detected on the swabs, the statement said.

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

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

More in courts: Phoenix police Chief Jeri Williams 'falsely' claimed she wasn't told of gang charges, lawsuit alleges

About a month after he was fired by the Phoenix Police Department in July 2020, 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 through his lawyer, Jess Lorona, according to court documents.

Lorona did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

Lee and Gutierrez could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday.

Reach the reporter at chelsea.curtis@arizonarepublic.com or follow her on Twitter @curtis_chels

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Former Phoenix police officer not guilty in some charges, hung in others

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