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Consider the testimony of Gregory Matherly in trial of Michael Pena.

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A NYC judge has declared a mistrial in the recent trial of former police officer Michael Pena, who was accused of the gunpoint rape of a Manhattan schoolteacher. The jury came to a unanimous consensus on sexual assault charges, but not on the heavier rape charge. A juror interviewed after the trial said that the three jurors against the rape charge did not consider the eyewitness testimony of Gregory Matherly, who testified that he saw Michael Pena rape the victim. Why didn't they believe him? Because he is a skateboarder. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/owner-car-center-legal-fiasco-nypd-michael-pena-escape-rape-conviction-article-1.1053811

The deadlocked jury disturbed me, not only for its place in a disturbing trend of doubting the victim in a rape case, or for the fact that defense attorney Ephraim Savitt suggests that Pena does not deserve a rape charge because the definition of rape is too vague, or for the fact that one of the jurors made campaign contributions against the prosecuting attorney, a fact made public long after jury selection, but also for the dismissing of an eyewitness based on a prejudice over something as trivial as riding a skateboard.

This will not be surprising to any skateboarder. As one of twelve years, I can't tell you how many times my choice to ride a skateboard has aroused prejudice from city officials. I ask that in Pena's sentencing on May 7th, all parties involved consider Matherly's testimony, or at least offer a reason why not to consider it beyond the fact that he is a skateboarder.



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