Two New York Police Officers accused of raping a drunken woman in her East Village apartment in December 2008 were found not guilty by a Manhattan jury Thursday morning. Officers Franklin Mata and Kenneth Moreno faced charges of rape, burglary and official misconduct. They were convicted on three counts of official misconduct, a class A misdemeanor that carries a maximum one year jail term. Sentencing is scheduled for June 29.
New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., issued a statement shortly after the verdict was read.
We respect the jury's verdict with acknowledges that the defendents actions that night not only violated the law, they violated the victims rights and the public's trust, Vance said in the statement.
During the highly publicized trial jurors learned that Moreno and Mata responded to a cab drivers 911 call about a severely intoxicated passenger. After helping the woman into her apartment, the police returned several times later in the night. The woman reported a sexual assault the next morning and received treatment at a hospital. She said Moreno raped her while she was incapacitated and unable to move and that Mata stood by. Moreno and Mata told jurors the interaction was consensual. Moreno said he returned to the apartment to cuddle the woman.
Joseph Tacopina, a defense attorney for the police officers did not immediately respond to a call for comment. The officers still face departmental charges.