PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Attorney's Office announced Wednesday that it has filed criminal charges against two Valley police officers in separate incidents that took place within the last two years.
Mesa Police Officer Nathan Chisler
Mesa Police officer Nathan Chisler has been charged with aggravated assault related to the December 6, 2019 shooting of an unarmed man at Ojos-Locos Sports Cantina in Mesa.
Mesa police officials have also recommended that Chisler be terminated.
Mesa police said they were dispatched to the Ojos Locos restaurant near US-60 and Alma School Road on Dec. 9 after a restaurant manager said several people inside were acting "disorderly and causing a disturbance."
When officers arrived, they made contact with people in the parking lot.
Mesa police said the officers repeatedly ordered one of the intoxicated patrons, a 45-year-old white male, to identify himself and place his hands behind his back.
Officers said the man ignored commands and assaulted one of the officers, which resulted in different levels of force being used against the suspect, including a Taser, strikes and an attempted takedown.
"While trying to gather information, a struggle ensued with one of the subjects," the Mesa Police Department said in a press release at the time. "During this altercation the officer-involved shooting occurred."
Authorities said there were no weapons found on the suspect. Police said he was struck in the lower-left hip area and his injuries were not life-threatening.
Phoenix Police Officer Sean Pena
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has also submitted sexual assault and unlawful sexual conduct charges against an officer with the Phoenix Police Department.
According to court documents, Officer Sean Pena is accused of engaging in sexual acts with two different victims while the victims were either in custody or the subject of an investigation.
On August 26, 2018, according to court documents, one of the victims said they were forced into a sexual act while in custody inside Officer Pena's vehicle.
One of the two counts in the first incident specifically says the act was without the victim’s consent.
The second incident occurred on June 1, 2019, according to court documents.
In that case, Officer Pena allegedly responded to a welfare check on a woman who was apparently walking in the street. The woman was taken into custody, and later released at another location.
The woman claims the two were engaged in sexual conduct after she was released from custody.
Court documents show that Pena's patrol vehicle was at the dropoff location for approximately 10 minutes.
No DNA evidence was able to be identified in either case.
Pena faces three charges, one for sexual assault and two for unlawful sexual conduct.
Phoenix police released the following statement Wednesday on the investigation:
"The Phoenix Police Department Special Investigations Detail (SID) conducted a criminal investigation into misconduct involving Phoenix Police Officer Sean Pena #10298. The investigation involved inappropriate sexual conduct with two women in his custody. Pena was placed on administrative leave in November 2019. In February 2020, the investigation conducted by the Phoenix Police Department was submitted to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for charging.
Today, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office announced that Pena was indicted based upon the Phoenix Police Department investigation. A termination or Loudermill hearing has already been scheduled for Pena. Pena has been with the Phoenix Police Department for approximately three years."