Rape is rape—except when it's not, the State Senate seemed to conclude last month, when it ended its legislative session without passing a bill that would expand the definition of the term to include other types of sexual attacks. And no one was more crushed by this conclusion than 27-year-old Bronx teacher Lydia Cuomo, who in 2011 was brutally sodomized at gunpoint by an off-duty NYPD cop as she waited for a ride to work.

Officer Michael Pena is serving a sentence of life in prison for sexual assault (not rape) after attacking the young teacher in an Inwood courtyard, forcing himself on her vaginally, orally and anally. But under current law, rape is defined only as vaginal penetration—anything else is deemed "sexual assault," a designation that Cuomo and her supporters do not believe sufficiently conveys the horror of the crime.

"I think rape is about power, and it’s about control, and being able to speak about it, for me, gives me power over my story," she said earlier this year. "He raped me at the end of the day, and he’s not being called a rapist. He is a rapist, and you need to call rape, rape.... Sexual assault sounds so vague and I don’t think the word ‘sexual’ should be involved in it at all. There’s nothing sexual about it."

Nevertheless, the legislative session ended last month without the passage of a bill that would expand the definition of the crime, the Daily News reported today.

This comes as a disappointment not just to Cuomo (no relation to the Governor), but to Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, D-Queens, who has fought bitterly to see rape classified as rape since the moment she read Cuomo's story.

"I wrote the bill literally the day after the acquittal in her case," Simotas told us, who at the time was five-months pregnant with her daughter. "I tried to put myself in her shoes. I couldn’t. I wanted to do something to correct the injustice that exists in our law." Simotas drafted the legislation that night, and proposed it the next day.

Despite initially being shot down in both the state Assembly and Senate, the bill was voted on unanimously by the Assembly in June. The Senate, for its part, passed a less biting version, which distinguishes between "rape," "oral rape" and "anal rape," ostensibly to appease district attorneys concerned that juries won't accept that "someone forced to engage in oral sex has been raped," Simotas explained.

But Simotas—and Cuomo—see that logic as horribly flawed.

"I think that it's important to call things what they are," Simotas said. "The vast majority of the population understands that forced sex acts are rape."

Despite a disappointing end to the legislative session, Simotas said she's confident that she and Cuomo will win in the end. "It's not rare for bills to evolve," she said. "Hopefully the third time is a charm."

Update, 5 p.m.: According to Sen. Catherine Young, who proposed the bill differentiating types of rape as "vaginal," "anal" or "oral," there is a functional purpose behind the distinction. In essence, she said, distinguishing the type of crime makes it easier to ensure that criminals are effectively sentenced, citing the case People v. Alonzo, in which an opinion states that using the blanket term "rape" could result in the perception of a single attack, thereby potentially reducing the charges.

She said that she is, however, still "trying to come up with a solution that meets Lydia’s concerns" about the importance of rape nomenclature.