Reporting Tony Aiello
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It was the verdict that shocked the city.
On Monday it was the sentence that shocked the defendant.
The ex-cop acquitted of raping a woman, but convicted of misconduct, was given a year in jail, even though probation recommended he walk free, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reports.
If former NYPD Officer Kenneth Moreno had any hope of avoiding jail that hope was crushed as soon as Judge Gregory Carro opened his mouth.
“By the tone of the opening remarks it was very obvious the judge felt Moreno should serve time,” said Cathleen Cogswell of the Alliance Against Sexual Assault.
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The judge was alternately angry and sarcastic as he gave Moreno a tongue lashing.
“When law enforcement officers commit crimes they rip at the fabric that holds us all together,” Judge Carro said. “You, sir, ripped a gaping hole.”
In May, the jury shocked many when it acquitted Moreno of raping a drunken woman he was dispatched to help. He was convicted of misdemeanor counts — surveillance video showed him returning to the woman’s East Village home three times without authorization.
The 29-year-old fashion executive who accused Moreno of rape sat in the very front row. She maintained her composure until the prosecutor began to speak.
The tears began to flow as Assistant District Attorney Colleen Balbert slammed Moreno, saying “he demonstrated that he has no regard for the law he took an oath to uphold” and brought “… unwarranted discredit to the brave men and women of the NYPD.”
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Moreno’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, pointed out repeatedly that the probation report recommended no jail. And early Monday evening a higher court judge signed an order releasing Moreno from Rikers Island.
“I have the order in my hand. We’re going right over to the jail, and he’ll be out until the appeal is decided,” Moreno attorney Chad Siegel said.
So despite the judge’s harsh words Moreno only spent a few hours in jail Monday.
It remains to be seen what will happen to Moreno’s ex-partner and codefendant Franklin Mata when Judge Carro sentences him on Wednesday.
Moreno was to be released after posting $125,000 bail. He’ll be free while challenging the misconduct convictions on appeal.
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