Phoenix, AZ — As TFTP frequently reports, the thin blue line is not so thin when it comes to officers covering up the crimes of their colleagues. While murder and brutality are at the forefront of the blue code of silence, often times, predator cops, who use their badges to prey on women and children, are often given a pass by their departments as their list of victims grows.
Former Phoenix police officer Sean Pena is one of these cops, according to several lawsuits, who was allowed to go on raping for years because his department refused to act.
Lisa Gutierrez filed her lawsuit this month against Pena and the City of Phoenix over allegations that Pena sexually assaulted her in his patrol car, while on duty. Adding credence to her claims is the fact that Pena was indicted by a grand jury last August on felony charges for sexually assaulting three women, one of whom was Gutierrez.
He was fired shortly before the indictment, in a likely attempt by the department to distance themselves from this alleged serial rapist cop. According to a report in the Phoenix New Times:
Gutierrez, who is described in the lawsuit as a black woman, alleges that on August 5, 2019, she called the Phoenix Police Department due to a vague "incident with a family friend." Pena, along with another Phoenix police officer, Antonia Felix, responded to the call. Gutierrez was placed in the back of Pena's patrol car and they drove to the home of a suspect for "identification purposes." When Pena dropped her off back at her house, he allegedly commented that her then-boyfriend had a misdemeanor warrant, that he could take him into custody, and that her shirt was "see-through."
At 11:00 p.m. that evening, Gutierrez was walking home from the grocery store when she saw Pena parked outside her house inside his patrol car. Pena told her to come to his car, which she did. He proceeded to grab her hand and place it on his "exposed penis," the suit states. Pena allegedly made statements like "Did you like that?" and "Is this big enough for you?" per the complaint. He finally let Gutierrez go and told her that he would call her in an hour.
After walking home in a "panic," Gutierrez received a call from Pena while she was inside her house with her daughter and ex-boyfriend. He told her to meet him in a field (the complaint doesn't specify where exactly). Gutierrez complied. According to the lawsuit, Pena's cell phone records showed that he called Gutierrez eight times between 10:44 p.m. and 11:05 p.m. that evening.
"Because Defendant Pena was a police officer, Plaintiff felt obligated to go to the field as she feared for the lives and safety of her child, herself and what could happen to her then-boyfriend," the lawsuit states. "Plaintiff was afraid of Defendant Pena as he had already showed up at her home uninvited and forced sexual contact with Plaintiff. She was afraid that if she did not comply, she would be killed."
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Once in the field, Pena "forced" her to masturbate "inside his patrol vehicle while he exposed and fondled her breast" as he masturbated. He then pulled her face next to his crotch and she believed he was attempting to "ejaculate on her face." After he sexually assaulted Gutierrez, he let her go and she went straight to the neighboring town of Tempe, to report her abuse to the Tempe Police in an attempt to bypass the blue code of silence within the Phoenix department. Her move would later lead to Pena's arrest.
According to her lawsuit, Pena had a history of similar on-duty sexual assaults but the department refused to investigate. The lawsuit states that after they swept 2018 sex assault allegations under the rug, the department didn't "increase supervision" of Pena and his "sadistic history of sexual violence" was allowed to continue until they were unable to ignore it over a year later.
The "lackadaisical nature of the investigation emboldened" Pena to "commit additional acts of sexual violence" by allowing "a sexual predator to continue patrolling the streets of Phoenix alone in a single-man unit with authority, a weapon and no supervision," the lawsuit states.
Pena is currently awaiting trial for his felony charges of rape. The taxpayers of Phoenix shelled out $425,000 last June to pay for another lawsuit against Pena by a victim with similar claims.
While this case is certainly shocking, it is par for the course in regard to the blue code of silence. As we reported in April, documents were released detailing the abuse and cover-up of said abuse carried out by Patrick M. Rose Sr., the former president of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association and Boston PD detective.
Rose has been charged with molesting children, and the documents prove the department knew, and allowed him to continue to serve in their ranks and even engage with children — for decades.