NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City police officer Kenneth Moreno, accused of raping an intoxicated woman in her Village apartment after helping her to get home, returned to the stand Tuesday for cross-examination.
WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell: The Prosecution Seized On The Phony 911 Call
The focus was on the conversation the alleged rape victim had with Officer Moreno and secretly recorded for the district attorney outside the 9th Precinct, reports CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.
Assistant District Attorney Coleen Balbert asked, “She said to you, ‘You raped me,’ right?”
Moreno’s answer: “She didn’t say, ‘You raped me.’ She said, ‘You took advantage of me.’”
Balbert: “And she said, ‘Did you wear a condom?’ And, ‘You threw me on the bed?’ And, ‘When I woke up, you were on top of me?’ You didn’t think she was accusing you of rape?!”
Moreno: “I don’t know why. I didn’t think she was accusing me of rape.”
Moreno said he felt pressured when she confronted him at the precinct. On the tape, she asks if she should be worried about getting a sexually transmitted disease. Moreno responds, “Ma’am, nothing like that even came close to happening.”
At one point on the tape, however, Moreno said he used a condom but he explained to the jury, “I told her that to please her, I wanted it to stop. It wasn’t like that what she said.”
“Nothing happened, there was no sexual activity between us,” Moreno told the jury.
He also told the jury he was confused.
“When I left her that night she was fine. I called and everything was okay. She said she didn’t remember. I didn’t know if she was playing games,” he said.
Moreno’s attorney, Joseph Tacopina, asked, “How come you didn’t go inside and tell your supervisor there’s some woman outside, she’s making these accusations?”
Moreno then broke out in tears.
“If I had done that, Internal Affairs would have opened a file. I would’ve risked my pension. And look where I’m at now! Look where I’m at now! Two and a half years later!”
Ed Mandery, the attorney for Moreno’s partner, Officer Franklin Mata, said Moreno acquitted himself well Tuesday.
“I think you get to see the character of the man. And it takes what’s been demonized in the media and you put a face to it. And I think you see the manner of the man and who the person is. I think it’s absolutely helpful,” Mandery told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.
Moreno denied having any sex with the woman but said he did lie down on the bed with her as she was falling asleep.
“He made his mistakes that night. He acknowledged that. But he did not commit a crime,” Tacopina said.
Mandery said the tape is not the silver bullet confession prosecutors claim it is.
“Actually, I don’t feel it’s damaging at all if you listen to that recording. You hear Officer Moreno several times saying you’re asking me to admit to something I didn’t do. And I think the jury gets that,” Mandery said.
1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports: Moreno Says He Felt Pressured
In Moreno’s version of events on Monday, he was the comforter, a calming presence to a woman who was drunk, troubled, and according to the officer, coming onto him the night she claims she was raped.
“She told me to come over to the bed. I said, ‘I’m good where I’m at.’ She walks up to me. I could see she was wearing a pink bra,” Moreno testified on Monday.
Moreno told jurors he is a recovering alcoholic and bonded with the woman that night, holding her as she lay throwing up and even singing to her Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer.”
“She grabbed my hand and put it on her stomach area. She started rubbing her buttock area around my groin area,” he said. “I kind of pushed her away. I said, ‘there’s another time for this.’ She looked at me. I held her on the shoulders and said, ‘we’re not doing this.’ She got upset.”
Moreno admitted to making a fake 911 call so he and Mata could return to the woman’s East Village apartment three more times that night, as seen in surveillance video.
He admitted to crossing the line while on-duty and in uniform, but when asked by his attorney if he raped the woman, Moreno answered “No.”
“It’s a very dramatic case. His life is on the line. Darn right it’s dramatic,” said Tacopina.
Whom do you believe? Leave a comment below…