NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A former New York City police officer was sentenced to two months in jail on a misconduct conviction Wednesday after he and his partner were acquitted of raping a woman they were summoned to help.
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Franklin Mata also was sentenced Wednesday to three years’ probation. However, the sentence is stayed until Sept. 12 while he appeals.
“He endured a two month trial, months of media attention, being plastered all over the paper as a ‘rape cop’ knowing he didn’t commit a rape or participate in a rape,” said defense attorney Edward Mandery.
Inside the courtroom, Mata sobbed to the judge, begging for leniency.
“I have lost my job, my name and I’ve lost respect from the people of New York City,” said Mata, his voice so shaky with emotion that his words were sometimes indistinguishable. “I have learned from this experience, sir. I ask that you hear me and understand that I never meant for anybody to get hurt that night.”
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State Supreme Court Justice Gregory Carro blamed Mata for not stopping his ex-partner, saying “you knew his intentions were morally bankrupt.” The judge also allowed Mata to walk free until September 12 so that his attorney can see if a superior judge will take the appeal case.
“I think he was fair to my client,” said Mandery.
Ex-partner Kenneth Moreno was sentenced Monday to a year in jail. He also is free during a planned appeal.
She accused Moreno of rape and Mata of acting as his partner’s lookout.
Mata testified he slept on the 29-year-old fashion executive’s couch while Moreno said he only cuddled with her. A jury exonerated Moreno of rape, but convicted him of official misconduct. He was immediately fired from the NYPD by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
Carro said he didn’t see Mata’s participation in the crime as equivalent to Moreno’s. Their misdemeanor misconduct convictions were for repeatedly returning to the accuser’s apartment while telling dispatchers they were elsewhere.
Carro was emphatic when sentencing Moreno Monday. “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.”
The woman who accused Moreno of rape flew in from California and sat in the front row. She maintained her composure until the prosecutor began to speak at Moreno’s sentencing.
“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.
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.
“He was facing 50 years he got nine months and we’re going to get that overturned so we feel pretty good,” said defense attorney Joseph Tacopina.
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