NYPD Officers Kenneth Moreno And Franklin Mata Found Not Guilty Of Rape Charges

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — After seven weeks of testimony and seven days of deliberations, jurors on Thursday acquitted two New York City cops who were accused of raping a woman in December 2008.

Officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata were found not guilty of the most serious charges in the incident involving a then-27-year-old drunk fashion executive in her East Village apartment.

The two were also acquitted of other charges, including burglary and falsifying business records. Both, however, were convicted of official misconduct.

WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell: Moreno Is Just Glad It’s Over

The two look stunned, but remained stolid after hearing the verdict.

“I thought about my children,” Moreno said about hearing the not guilty verdict at a news conference outside the courthouse. “I didn’t even say goodbye to them this morning, this verdict came to us as a surprise. I thought about my wife and all the people that supported me throughout this.”

Moreno was accused of the sex act, and Mata was accused of helping Moreno by acting as a lookout.

“This has been a long two and a half years,” said Mata. “I’ve been innocent from day one. I’m glad everybody sees that now. I just want to go home and, like I said, get on with my life.”

1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reports: Moreno Says He Was ‘Greatly Relieved’ About Verdict

“In one second, your heart could be in the right place; another second, someone could misconstrue it and you could end up pretty close to where I was,” Officer Moreno said. “It’s too easy to point a finger at somebody and say, ‘hey, they did this.’”

The prosecution’s case rested largely on the witnesses’ testimony. There was no DNA linking the officers to the woman.

“It is a win,” Moreno said. “It’s a lesson and a win.”

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, however, said the officers were not off the hook.

The officers were each convicted of three official misconduct charges, all misdemeanors, for going back to the woman’s apartment three times after the initial call without telling dispatchers or superiors where they were.

“The guilty verdict that was reached today involved the violation of the officers’ oath of office, and as a result warrant immediate termination from the Police Department,” Commissioner Kelly said.

“We respect the jury’s verdict, which acknowledges that the defendants’ actions that night not only violated the law, they violated the victim’s rights,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond With Reaction From Police Commissioner Ray Kelly

During the trial, Moreno testified he went back to the woman’s apartment to check on her. But prosecutors said it wasn’t to check on her.

“Moreno wanted to have sex with her,” prosecutor Colleen Balbert told the jury during closing arguments.

Surveillance video showed they returned to her East Village apartment a total of four times.

The accuser testified she remembers throwing up and passing out that night, and was awakened to a cop having sex with her on her bed before passing out again.

Moreno said Thursday that the accuser made up the whole story.

“I made a judgment call. I believed in something that night and I paid for it,” he said. “I went there in all sincerity to help somebody. From the purest of my heart, my intentions were from the beginning just to help her.”

“He said he has regrets, but he didn’t do any crime, and he certainly did not have sex with the woman who said she was raped,” Moreno’s attorney, Joseph Tacopina, said.

Moreno testified during the trial that the accuser was flirtatious and tried to lure him onto her bed, while Mata said he dozed off on the couch in another room.

“I couldn’t believe that two officers who had been called to help me had, instead, raped me,” testified the woman, who is suing the city for $57 million over the incident.

Moreno and Mata still face up to a year in jail on each official misconduct charge. Sentencing is scheduled for next month.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Carol D'Auria
Comments

One Comment

  1. Ace says:

    If they wanted to help a person with a brain would have called the ambulance.

  2. CSI says:

    Sorry but not once in my life have I seen a cop care that much for a person in need of help. Let alone just a person who is drunk to come back 4 times. I got hit by a car twice and not even one of them care that i even got hit. They didnt even stay around long.

  3. Myra says:

    As a woman I am glad the two cops got were found not guilty of rape. I guarantee you that I will NEVER find myself in that situation. I have never and will never get drunk, especially to the point where you can’t even get out of a cab. I teach my two daughters the same. You are responsible for your well being. Never put yourself in a position to be easily victimized by anyone. That said, I did not believe the girl any way. The jury came to the right conclusion and found them guilty of the correct charges.

  4. Itsobvious says:

    They raped her. They were on camera looking around as they entered the building. That was to make sure there were no witnesses.

  5. Rodin says:

    DSK must be greatly encouraged by the twists and possibilities of the American justice system.

    If this is the outcome of the trial of two lowly cops accused of rape, how much better must his odds be, an international power player, against a totally insignificant African immigrant housemaid?

    Set the precedent? Let’s see.

  6. Gregg says:

    Another OJ type trial victory ! But, look what happened to him down the road. I wonder if the young women is going ahead with a civil lawsuit ?

  7. Reality Check says:

    The verdict had to be not guilty. No DNA and an accuser so drunk she blacked out for large portions of the evening. This case should never have been prosecuted in the first place. The lesson to be learned is for women in NYC not to get so debilitatingly drunk. None of this would have happened if she was able to control herself–no 911 call by the cabbie, and whatever followed (we will never know the truth) would never have taken place.

    This comment is from a father of two girls who happens to enjoy a few beverages now and again and who is not a cop nor has any in his family. My daughters are being raised to accept full repsonsibility for their actions and for the real consequences of poor judgment. This is a classic case of “drunken remorse” by the accuser–trying to assign blame to others for something she set in motion at the start of happy hour. The cops were obviously not princes here, but the point is that they didn’t have to be called in the first place….

  8. Barney Fife says:

    At least these a-holes were fired and had their pensions revoked.

    1. Rodin says:

      The silver lining!

  9. MIKE says:

    THE TRUTH WILL HAUNT THEM FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. EVEN THOUGH TEHY WILL GET FIRED FROM THE NYPD THEY WILL HAVE THIS MEMORY WITH THEM. DEEP IN THEIR MINDS THEY KNOW THEY COMMITTED RAPE AND GOT AWAY, THAT WILL BE WITH THEM.

    IN YEARS TO COME YOU WILL HEAR ABOUT THESE GUYS AS THEIR CAREERS TAKE A DOWN FALL. EVERYONE KNOWS WHO THEY ARE AND WHAT THEY GOT AWAY WITH. THE TRUTH WILL COME OUT WHEN ONE OF THEM CANT TAKE THE PRESSURE ANYMORE. THATS WORSE THAN BEING LOCKED UP.

    GUILT!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Trishe says:

    THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO PROVE THAT SHE WAS RAPED PERIOD. WE WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT REALLY HAPPENED AND WE NEED TO MOVE ON.

    1. MIKE says:

      UNTIL YOURE RAPED TRISHE!!!!!!

  11. Paul Caraballo says:

    hope they get fired

    1. M.A.D says:

      THEY DID

  12. ed says:

    The jury is to blame. Common sense they have done. They looked at every way not to convict. Instead of common sense, unless they didn’t have much to start with.

  13. xtodaz says:

    Gotta be honest with you guys, this is bad. Just like most other people, I’m not a fan of cops in general, but I must say I’ve also been helped by them and treated very professionally by them in almost every instance in which I’ve come into contact with them.
    Never have I been helped 4 times in one night by the same cops though. Any fool sitting here saying the acquital is justified because reasonable doubt existed is out of their freaking mind. No DNA? Who cares–as one person said, he could’ve been clean shaven–that explains no pubes–why wasn’t his grooming brought up at trial? Also, a rubber catches the other DNA if you know what I mean. I really feel bad for this woman.
    You can say “no DNA” or “her story was no good because she was drunk” all you want. All most of the people who are arguing that this is a bad miscarriage of justice are saying is that never in the history of mankind has a couple of cops “checked up” on anyone more than one time a night. The prosecutor should have hammered that home–she should’ve asked these clowns if EVER in their careers had they EVER rechecked on a victim repeatedly–it just wouldn’t have ever happened. I really feel sorry for this woman and again, I don’t hate cops. Most have been very professional with me whenever I’ve had to deal with them.

  14. Rodin says:

    I’m NOT anti-cop. I go case by case. I supported officer Hess in the sad shooting of Pace student Danroy Henry.

    The M&M’s (Moreno – Mata) are nothing but abusers who disgraced and dishonored the uniform they wear and betrayed the citizens’ trust. There’s enough evidence of dereliction of duty. That’s enough.

    And Mata crows his claim “of innocence from day 1” and “now everyone knows.”

    May they never walk the streets of NYC again except as the streetwalkers THEY are.

    BTW –
    Before anyone starts raising the race card, I’m Hispanic too, and deeply ashamed.

Comments are closed.

More From CBS New York

Komen Race For The Cure
CAMPAIGN 2016

Listen Live