After seven days of deliberations and a six-week trial, a jury has found NYPD officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata not guilty of the most serious charges against them, including the rape of an intoxicated woman they helped one night in December of 2008. The officers do not deny that they returned to the woman’s apartment three times that night, even placing a phony 911 call from a pay phone to provide them with a cause, and for that, they were found guilty of official misconduct and face a year in prison. But they claim that no sex took place. Moreno, the officer accused of raping the woman while Mata served as a lookout, insists that he merely “cuddled with the drunken woman in her bed while she wore nothing but a bra” and counseled her about her drinking.
The prosecution had no DNA evidence to use against Moreno, and the recollections from the admittedly drunk woman weren’t exactly lucid. But they did have what seemed like a trump card: Days after the encounter, the woman had a lengthy face-to-face confrontation with Moreno on the street outside of his precinct, which she secretly recorded. Despite assuring her many, many times that they never had sex, Moreno also twice admitted to using a condom. First here:
Woman: So then just answer me honestly. Did you use a condom? That’s all I want to know. Ok?
Moreno: Yes, Yes I did.
And then here:
Woman: Did you use a condom?
Moreno: Ma’am —
Woman: I’m sorry but I’m completely freaked out —
Woman: — about getting pregnant or anything.
The defense maintained that Moreno was only trying to calm the woman down and prevent her from making a scene.
According to the Daily News, “Both officers looked stunned when the verdict was announced.” We don’t blame them.