Rape suspect charged for trying to influence jury, tampering

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MORRISTOWN, NJ – Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, Chief of Detectives Christoph Kimker, and Morris County Sheriff James Gannon announce that a jury has found Andrew Pena, 54, guilty of third degree Corrupting a Jury, third degree Conspiracy to Corrupt a Jury, fourth degree Obstruction, and fourth degree Conspiracy to Commit Obstruction.

The charges arise from an incident that occurred in November 2015 while Pena was on trial for Aggravated Sexual Assault and related offenses that occurred in 2007. During the pendency of the November 2015 trial, an investigation began into attempts by Pena to influence that jury and obstruct the administration of law. The investigation ultimately revealed that Pena had conspired with another individual, Michael Campbell (formerly of Wharton, NJ), to distribute information that was previously deemed inadmissible during trial, in an effort to influence the jury. Confidential police reports, provided to Pena in accordance with the Rules of Court, were duplicated, altered, and then disseminated in the vicinity of the Morris County Courthouse.

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In 2015, both Pena and Campbell were charged in connection with the alleged jury tampering incident. In February 2016, Campbell entered a guilty plea to fourth degree Obstruction related to the incident. The charges against Campbell were ultimately dismissed in 2018 following his death.

The charges against Pena were tried before the Hon. Ralph E. Amirata and a jury between December 9, 2021 and December 16, 2021. The State was represented at trial by Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Sandler. At Pena’s request, he was permitted to proceed pro se and represent himself at trial. The jury returned its verdict on December 16, 2021.

Pena is scheduled to be sentenced for the jury tampering and related offenses on February 25, 2022. He is currently serving a 29 year, 4 month sentence of incarceration stemming from the previous convictions for Aggravated Sexual Assault and related crimes. He remains in custody at this time.

Prosecutor Carroll would like to acknowledge the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division and Court Services Division, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit for contributing to the investigation and successful prosecution of this incident.

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Inquiries concerning this press release should be directed to Public Information Officer Meghan Knab at mknab@co.morris.nj.us or by phone at 973-829-8159.