NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Sentencing has been delayed for two former New York City police officers who were convicted of misconduct but acquitted of rape.
Ex-officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata were to be sentenced Tuesday, however a judge postponed their court date until Aug. 8 so defense lawyers can review unaired footage about the case from a documentary about sex-crimes prosecutors.
“You have the prosecutors basically discussing this case while being filmed by HBO,” defense attorney Ed Mandery said.
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The case stems from the then-officers’ December 2008 encounter with a then-27-year-old drunken fashion executive they were called to help get home. Moreno and Mata were found not guilty of the most serious charges in the incident.
Moreno was accused of the sex act, and Mata was accused of helping Moreno by acting as a lookout.
The two were also acquitted of other charges, including burglary and falsifying business records. Both, however, were convicted of official misconduct.
Lawyers for Moreno and Mata also filed papers asking for the misconduct conviction to be thrown out entirely for technical reasons.
The accuser appeared at the courthouse Tuesday ready to speak at the sentencing. Defense attorneys objected to her plan to speak since the officers were acquitted of felony rape however, the judge did not rule it out.
“She’s not doing well, this is extremely traumatic for her,” Susan Xenarios, of the St. Luke’s – Roosevelt Crime Victims Treatment Center, said.
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The woman, in a note sent out by her lawyer, expressed her anguish when the jury handed in its decision.
“Hearing that verdict brought me to my knees; it brought me back to my bedroom on that awful night when my world was turned upside down,” she said.
“One’s word is not enough,” she said. “Even if people believe you, you are tested beyond what any crime victim should have to endure.”
She said she found comfort in the dismissal of the two cops, who were found guilty of official misconduct.
“I take great comfort and express my thanks in the swift action from Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly, to fire misters Moreno and Mata from service immediately following the verdict,” she said.
She also she’ll take solace from the court of public opinion, saying “how amazing are the people of New York City, and all over the country, to speak up in my honor.”
The woman also expressed gratitude for the support of her family and friends, calling them her “silver lining.”
What do you think the appropriate punishment should be for the misconduct in this case? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.
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