An attorney for Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata, the two New York police officers acquitted of rape and burglary charges Thursday morning said his clients are elated.
We just want to thank the jury for having the courage and integrity to deliver a just and truthful verdict, attorney Joseph Tacopina said in an email to IBTimes.
The Manhattan jury found Mata and Moreno not guilty of raping an East Village woman in December 2008. The officers were convicted of three counts of official misconduct, misdemeanors, for repeatedly returning to the apartment of the accuser after responding to an initial 911 call seeking assistance for the drunken woman. The woman accused Moreno of raping her and Mata of standing by while she was too drunk to defend herself.
Moreno argued he had a consensual relationship with the woman and said he had cuddled her. Both officers admitted to returning to the woman's apartment three times over the course of the December 2008 evening in question. Returning to the apartment to socialize with the woman while on duty was against department policy.
I always believed that the officers were going to be vindicated, Tacopina said.
Moreno and Mata still face a departmental investigation. They are suspended from their police duties until that case is completed.