New York police officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata were found not guilty today of charges that Moreno raped a woman in her apartment while Mata kept guard.
The woman was drunk and her memory is hazy, a fact the defense took advantage of despite her memory of being penetrated. Video showed the officers leaving and returning to her apartment repeatedly. Moreno said he kissed the woman and “snuggled” with her when she wasn’t wearing a bra, but didn’t rape her. Yet in a conversation with the woman Moreno told a different story. From The New York Times:
One crucial piece of prosecution evidence was a secretly recorded conversation days later between the woman and Officer Moreno. In it, Officer Moreno told the woman that he had worn a condom, but only after he had denied numerous times that he had sex with her. His lawyers argued that he lied to her about wearing a condom because she had threatened to make a scene in his precinct station house.
Officer Moreno also made other statements during the conversation that suggested he had had sex with the woman.
The jury did convict Moreno and Mata of misconduct for entering the woman’s apartment, because, well, that was obvious. But it seems this is yet another case of the accuser’s drunk state undermining her story in the eyes of a jury, despite the defense also arguing she was sober enough to communicate and consent and despite her memory of the rape and the disturbing admissions from Moreno.
Update: There will be a protest of the acquittal this Friday, May 27 from 5-7pm in front of the Manhattan Criminal Court building. More information here. Big props to our own Lori and others for working to put this protest together so quickly.