Phoenix Settles Rape Claim Against Former Police Officer

By Christina Estes
Published: Wednesday, June 2, 2021 - 8:20pm
Updated: Wednesday, June 2, 2021 - 8:22pm

Phoenix will pay $425,000 to a woman who says she was sexually assaulted by a police officer on June 1, 2019. 

On Wednesday the City Council unanimously approved the settlement involving a woman who was in custody when she said then-officer Sean Pena raped her. 

The city’s internal investigation substantiated the claim, and Phoenix’s law department said it learned of other similar allegations. 

Phoenix fired Pena in July 2020 and on August 12, 2020, a grand jury indicted him on 7 felony counts involving three people. His trial is scheduled for August 5, 2021.

The council also approved a $2.5 million settlement in a bodily injury claim. On March 11, 2018, a police officer responded to Dunlap and Central Avenues after a storm knocked out traffic lights. The officer left to handle another non-emergency call, and two vehicles went through the intersection and collided. According to the city, “the plaintiff suffered very serious and some probably permanent injuries”.

The claim alleged the officer violated policy by leaving the scene. At the time, Phoenix said it was unclear whether the officer had discretion to leave, but that policy language has since been clarified.

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