'Nothing Happened. And I Never Thought I'd Be Sitting Here'By Juliet Papa

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It was a dramatic day in the trial of two New York City Police officers accused of raping a woman in her apartment while she was drunk.

In a risky move for the defense, Officer Franklin Mata, accused of covering for his partner, took the witness stand Friday and told a much different story than anyone had heard to that point, reports CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.

Prosecutors allege officers Kenneth Moreno and Mata helped an inebriated 29-year-old fashion industry executive out of a cab in December 2008 before Moreno allegedly raped her inside her East Village apartment, while Mata served as a lookout.

1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports: Officer Mata Takes The Stand

Mata said he never saw the accuser unconscious, unable to walk or speak but stated that she was visibly intoxicated when the officers first responded to a call from a cab driver that drove the woman home from her own going away party.

Mata said the accuser asked that the officers return to check on her and also gave them permission to take the keys to her apartment.

WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell: Officer Mata Says The Alleged Victim Was Never Unconscious

Mata aimed to distance himself from his partner and co-defendant, saying he sat in the living and got the woman a glass of water from the kitchen as Moreno attended to the accuser in the bathroom.

During one of their visits to the East Village apartment, Mata said he turned the television on and at another time had fallen asleep. He described the woman’s conversations with Moreno as “friendly and sometimes flirty.”

During cross-examination, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Coleen Balbert questioned why the officers had repeatedly returned to the woman’s apartment. Surveillance video shows both officers re-entering the woman’s apartment, using her key, four times that night.

Balbert: “You encounter a lot of drunk people on the midnight tour, right?”

Officer Mata: “Yes.”

Balbert: “You always go back a second and third time to check on their condition?”

Mata: “No.”

Balbert: “But you did that night. Are you with Social Services?”

That prompted a fierce objection from Mata’s lawyer, Ed Mandery.

Balbert: “You’re supposed to be patrolling your sector, not making house calls, right?”

Another objection followed.

Referring to Officer Mata’s claim that he was not aware of a rape because he fell asleep while his partner was with the woman, Balbert asked, in a biting tone, “And yet you don’t believe everything that happened in that apartment, right?”

To which Mata replied: “Nothing happened. And I never thought I’d be sitting here.”

At the end of the day Mandery was reluctant to answer questions, but CBS 2’s Guzman did get him to say why he put Mata on the stand.

“So he could explain what happened,” Mandery said.

Defense lawyer Max DiFabio explained to Guzman the dangers of calling a defendant to the stand.

“It’s a great risk and, as I said earlier, it’s a gut-wrenching decision. It’s not a decision that is taken lightly,” DiFabio said.

Last month, the accuser took the stand and described a day and night of drinking with friends to celebrate her new job in California.

Testifying she blacked out numerous times, the victim said she did recall two police officers helping her out of a cab and leading her up to her apartment.

Of her few memories, the woman said she remembers being shaken out of her stupor by someone rolling her tights down her legs. She said she heard clothes rustling and Velcro ripping before passing out one more time.

The accuser said when she awoke the following day, dressed in nothing but her bra, she “felt the shock of rape.”

Earlier in the trial, the jury heard 911 tapes after prosecutors said Moreno and Mata called police pretending to be citizens and reported phony situations that required police attention in order to keep themselves in the vicinity of the East 13th Street building where the alleged rape occurred.

There is no DNA in this case.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

Comments (22)
  1. Bob Fowler says:

    Seriously, without all of the facts, doesn’t simple common sense attest to the fact that there was something very wrong with the police officers’ stories? Never before had they returned to check on a drunk 4 times in one shift. As police officers, if they felt that the woman was in some form of medical danger, shouldn’t she have been brought to a hospital?

    Logic says that Moreno found a good thing. Maybe he talked her into it? Maybe he cajoled permission? As a police officer, he has been trained to know that people in such a state of drunkenness are not responsible for what they say. He violated the public trust, caused more damage to the NYPD image, and ultimately raped (sex without consent is rape) this woman.

    In return for his disdain for the people that he swore to protect, he should not be afforded protective custody in prison. Reasonable people would say that he gave up that right.

  2. Dale Auburn says:

    Why is a cop on trial for anything? George Bush established after 9/11 that cops (and firefighters) are legally designated Heroes, and thus are EXEMPT FROM ALL LAWS.

  3. AA member says:

    The officer who said he was in AA , claims he was trying to help/council her. AA people do not council people who are drunk, they know counciling people when drunk makes no scents to the drunk. Help yes, counciling no way
    My guess…. the cop was at AA meetings himself for help now through his knowaledge of meeting is using this. AA would never agree to what he is claimming

  4. nyc says:

    These cops are guilty ! Too much evidence against them .New York”s finest. An example should be made prosecuting them. Many good cops out there in this current day jungle !

  5. Guilty says:

    Guilty ! No normal policeofficer would go back to young womens apartment four (4) times. Four times, four times, four times, That is all the jury needs to know. They kept going back to rape her. Sickening. GUILTY

  6. Bell Toller says:

    The alleged victim is to blame here. She put herself in the drunken stupor

    1. Dennis says:

      by that logic, anyone who puts an adult beverage to their lips, should consider that they may be setting them self up for sexual assault. that is like saying. a woman may be assaulted because of the way she dresses…if you believe that nonsense…thr bell tolls for thee.

  7. DIVERSITY = DEATH says:




  8. Dennis says:

    wash your hands four times and find no dirt. trained to wash your hands and for sure find no dirt. Why all the victim hate?

  9. Dennis says:

    Innocent, till proven guilty. That is our system of justice. All of your comments are simply opinions. Only three people know exactly what happened that night and one of them was impaired. How many of you have been ticketed or detained while impaired? How many of you taken home and cared for? To protect and serve??

  10. Alan Foos says:

    Well, that used to happen with the younger ladies all the time when I was living in the states. Don’t be getting drunk, especially if the cops have a way in. SSSDD, Einstein.

  11. James says:

    These two should be cast in the sequel to “dumb and dumber”. They are a disgrace to the uniform. Throw them in the clinker and throw away the key. They do not belong in a civilized society.

  12. quickJustice says:

    Just throw them into the can and tell the inmates that they are rapists.

  13. John RM says:

    Maybe the cop meant to say this,”We saw this woman was drunk like a pig, and my partner decided to do her. I served as lookout the first time, and by the second, third, and fourth time we went back to the apartment, and dunked her donut at least one more time, we ran out of coffee. By then I was so bored of watching my partner do her that I fell asleep”.

  14. iggy says:

    i believe it, when would a cop lie to protect his partner? i mean every cop goes back THREE times to help someone. just ask abner luima if they would lie.

  15. Ronny says:

    I have seven cops in my family and they all think the actions of these two idiots is disgraceful. I don’t know if they are guilty or not but at thevery least they should be fired.

  16. Susan Winters says:

    You can tell a New York Police Officer is lying when his lips are moving.

  17. suspicious says:

    How can there not be DNA evidence? She woke up felt like she was raped and didn’t go to the hospital? Something smells fishy here.Maybe she was and maybe she wasn’t but word against word shouldn’t send people to prison. They should check her history and make sure she hasn’t done anything like this in the past.

  18. sanders phelps says:

    No matter what, these two clearly showed misconduct. Who knows what really happened, but it doesn’t look good for these officers.

  19. GREG says:


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