HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Teacher Raped By NYPD Cop...

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:17 PM

Teacher Raped By NYPD Cop Goes Public, Wants Albany To Change Rape Laws

Lydia Cuomo is incredibly brave. A year and a half ago, the 26-year-old was on her way to start her new job as a second-grade teacher in the Bronx, but an off-duty police officer threatened her at gunpoint and raped her in the courtyard of an Inwood apartment building. The officer, Michael Pena, was convicted of sexual assault but not on the rape charges (he later pleaded guilty to rape as part of a plea deal). Cuomo is now going public to convince Albany to put anal and oral penetration into the New York State definition of rape.

In an interview with the Daily News, Cuomo said, "I feel like essentially I had a silver platter of a rape case. I had witnesses, I had DNA, I had my own testimony, I had two cops. I had them saying, ‘We admit he sexually assaulted you,’ and I didn’t get the verdict I needed the first time, and that just highlights to me the problem in the system." She added, "Anal’s not rape? On what planet do you live? It never occurred to us that that’s not rape."

After the trial, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas tried to get Albany to change the definition last year—"This legislation will ensure that no other victim will face the same indignity that this Bronx schoolteacher suffered"—but nothing happened. Simotas said, "New York lags behind such liberal bastions as South Dakota and Tennessee in how we define rape. New York should be at the forefront to protect crime victims."

Cuomo, who is not related to the governor, told the Daily News how she was surprised that the jury didn't convict Pena of rape, "When we found out the reason why, it just seemed so ludicrous to me. I think, quite frankly, it’s insulting... Ultimately I was being told, ‘Oh, you were anally raped and orally raped, but we don’t believe you were raped; you were sexually assaulted.’" She also explained why she's making her identity known, "I think this is part of my way of moving on. I think I was given this opportunity to take this horrible, painful and negative thing and make it positive."

http://gothamist.com/2013/02/11/teacher_raped_by_nypd_cop_goes_publ.php

27 replies, 3379 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply Teacher Raped By NYPD Cop Goes Public, Wants Albany To Change Rape Laws (Original post)
The Straight Story Feb 2013 OP
msanthrope Feb 2013 #1
flying-skeleton Feb 2013 #21
Uncle Joe Feb 2013 #2
niyad Feb 2013 #3
Guy Whitey Corngood Feb 2013 #4
Heather MC Feb 2013 #5
derby378 Feb 2013 #6
thucythucy Feb 2013 #7
derby378 Feb 2013 #8
thucythucy Feb 2013 #9
derby378 Feb 2013 #15
thucythucy Feb 2013 #23
BainsBane Feb 2013 #24
thucythucy Feb 2013 #26
uponit7771 Feb 2013 #11
cali Feb 2013 #10
blackspade Feb 2013 #12
justiceischeap Feb 2013 #13
blackspade Feb 2013 #22
Marrah_G Feb 2013 #14
cali Feb 2013 #17
RevStPatrick Feb 2013 #16
rocktivity Feb 2013 #18
Blue_In_AK Feb 2013 #19
adieu Feb 2013 #20
Liberal_in_LA Feb 2013 #25
RedCappedBandit Feb 2013 #27

Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:19 PM

1. When the law is an ass, someone's gotta kick it. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to msanthrope (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:57 PM

21. But what happens when asses make these laws

And these same asses are still around ..... tightly would in the Republican Party

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:24 PM

2. Kicked and recommended for common sense.

Thanks for the thread, The Straight Story.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:26 PM

3. these kinds of legal hair-splitting brought to you by the same mentality that used to debate

how many angels could dance on the head of a pin.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink



Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:38 PM

5. So does that mean if a prostitute only does anal for money

she is not commiting a sex crime in New York?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:47 PM

6. Toughest gun laws in the country, but rape laws? Not so much...

Looks like a few priorities are out of whack. Loosen the gun laws, toughen the rape laws. Unfrickingbelievable.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to derby378 (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:02 PM

7. Um...she was raped at gun point

but just another "law abiding gun owner" until he wasn't.

Your defense of guns in this context is just, well, bizarre.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to thucythucy (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:03 PM

8. Does she have the right NOT to be raped, or doesn't she?

Sorry you didn't quite grasp the concept.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to derby378 (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:10 PM

9. Of course she has the right NOT to be raped.

As a rape survivor myself, I certainly "grasp the concept."

You're saying if she wanted a gun permit she would have been denied under New York State law?

You're saying if only she'd had a gun this wouldn't have happened? (Hence, maybe you're blaming the victim?)

You're saying raped at gunpoint isn't a part of this story?

You're saying your defense of guns guns guns isn't weird, unsettling, bizarre and disgusting in this context?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to thucythucy (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:31 PM

15. Perhaps you're asking the wrong questions...

I'm a Quaker who believes in the concepts of peace and social justice, but these are impossible without a framework of human freedom and dignity, in that all of us have a right to both. If that woman feels the need to carry a firearm now, I would not tell her she couldn't.

My comment was about a system that says it's okey-dokey to sodomize someone and restrict that person's avenues of self-defense. It is broken, and it needs to be fixed. As in NOW.

I'm very close with some rape survivors, too. I am truly sorry for your pain, and hope that things are better for you now.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to derby378 (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:30 PM

23. There is nothing in the article

I read to indicate she was in any way prevented from buying or carrying a gun. Perhaps I'm missing something, but this didn't come up in the article I saw. Where did you get the idea that she was somehow prevented from arming herself, and that the law thus needs to be changed?

What I DID see was that she was raped at gun point by an off-duty cop. So maybe the gun law that needs to be changed is the one that allows cops to carry firearms while not on duty. That's if you're looking for an obvious gun-related law to change. But there's nothing in the article I saw that would indicate the survivor in any way shape or form is asking that the law be changed to somehow allow her more access to guns, or that her access to guns was in any way infringed. She IS asking that the legal definition of rape be broadened. THAT'S what I took away from this account--not any appeal on her part for more guns for more people. That part of it seems to be your issue, and if you don't mind my saying, your obsession.

But anyway, thank you for your compassion. The rape was a long time ago, and I've had support and care from some very sympathetic and understanding people. One thing that helped for me personally was getting involved politically--working at a rape crisis center with other survivors, both as an activist and as a peer counselor.

Anyway, I do appreciate your empathy.

Best wishes

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to thucythucy (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:32 PM

24. excellent response

and I'm very sorry for the crime you endured. It angers me that you have to face insensitive comments from DU members as well.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BainsBane (Reply #24)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:19 PM

26. Thank you BainsB,

I always look forward to seeing your posts.

And I appreciate both your sensitivity around this issue, and your posts and OPs in general.

Be well, and best wishes,

Thucy

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to derby378 (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:17 PM

11. we can do both

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:14 PM

10. This is a very good article from Salon about this

case:

http://www.salon.com/2013/01/26/when_the_law_wont_call_it_rape/

At least the pig got 75 years to life for his vile crime- plus 10 years more when he pleaded guilty to rape as defined under the NY statute.

It's also disturbing that there were two witnesses, who as far as I can tell did nothing to help Ms. Cuomo.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:52 PM

12. At gun point....

Isn't that a mandatory sentence?

This woman is tough and very brave.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to blackspade (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:57 PM

13. Yeah but was it "rape rape" because she didn't fight back?

You know how some of those conservatives like to claim if a woman doesn't fight, it's not real rape anyway. She wanted it, after all.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to justiceischeap (Reply #13)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:01 PM

22. I know, right?

This splitting hairs about 'what' is rape is sick.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:00 PM

14. omg

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Marrah_G (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:47 PM

17. Marrah, 25 states don't even use the word rape anymore.

I agree with this brave victim that if NY has the word rape as a criminal act, it should incorporate anal and oral penetration, but the guy did not get off. He got 75 to life plus 10.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:42 PM

16. I really have no idea what I'm talking about here...

 

...but I would imagine that in the legalese that is the law in New York State, "rape" is defined as vaginal, where a pregnancy is possible, whereas "sexual assault" includes anal and whatever else may not leave the possibility of pregnancy.

I don't mind that these things have different definitions, and maybe even different penalties.
Is this simply a quibble over the legalese meaning of words?

The guy got 75 years, so obviously this sexual assault was taken seriously.
That's good.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:50 PM

18. But it is now in the Federal definition, isn't it?

“The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”
link


rocktivity

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:52 PM

19. We had a cop here who was doing that stuff,

and he got a LOT of time, plus cost the city $5.5 million to settle the lawsuits.

http://www.adn.com/2012/09/04/2611035/rollings-lawsuits-cost-city-55.html

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:57 PM

20. Make sure to include

penetration by other objects like fingers, plungers, gun barrels, etc. Don't want the defense attorney to say, "Sorry, he penetrated her with a baseball bat, not with his penis, so it's not rape."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:35 PM

25. brave woman

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 12:00 AM

27. I am SHOCKED that this is an issue

Maybe I'm just naive, but.. WTF.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread