BREAKING: New York police officers acquitted of rape

Trigger warning.

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.

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/azure156/ Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

    Please do keep us updated. “New York City feminists are furious” is an understatement based on some of the things I’ve seen written online by both women and men locally regarding this. I was concerned this would happen since I don’t think “non-corrupt” when I think “NYPD” but there’s still grey matter dripping from the ceiling after the head explosions over here.

  • http://feministing.com/members/ladyvagabond/ Natalie-Marie

    This makes me spitting mad. Seriously. Ugh.

    NYPD fails AGAIN.

  • http://feministing.com/members/thetruestfaith/ Mia

    I am so mad right not. Even just listening to Moreno’s testimony, it was obvious he raped her! I became more worried that the jury would find these cops not guilty of rape when I heard they were reviewing the victim’s testimony.

  • http://feministing.com/members/crystalsnowfire/ Ariel

    If they said that he fondled her breasts and ‘snuggled’ with her he should still be charged for sexual assult. Because he did what he did. The jury was made up of a bunch of biased fools!