Former Phoenix police officer acquitted on sexual assault charges in second trial

Pena's attorney says the jury came back with a 'not guilty' verdict.
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 4:53 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A former Phoenix police officer facing felony charges for sex crimes has been found not guilty on all counts. Former Phoenix Officer Sean Pena was charged with sexually assaulting three women on three separate occasions between August 2018 and August 2019. As a result, he was fired from the police force in 2020.

His first trial ended in not guilty on two counts and a hung jury on five counts. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office retried him on the remaining counts. “Having to go through another two weeks of trial and stand before a jury while they render a verdict was very stressful,” said one of Pena’s attorneys, Jess Lorona.

But the new jury was decisive. It took them less than one hour to reach a verdict. “They came back with a very resounding five counts of not guilty. So obviously, they had their minds made up,” said Lorona.

Krystofer Lee was one of the three accusers. She and Lisa Gutierrez, another accuser, settled lawsuits with the city, claiming the department put Pena back on the street after the first allegation surfaced. All three women claimed Pena assaulted them in his patrol car while on duty.

“He has moved forward, his wife is expecting their first child,” Lorona said. “So obviously that is positive for Sean and his family. But obviously this has impacted his life in a significant way.”

Reverend Jarrett Maupin was assisting some of the accusers in their cases. We reached out to him for comment but did not hear back.