Kenneth Moreno: Jury to decide NYC cop’s cuddle claim

A jury will begin deliberations today on whether Kenneth Moreno, right, raped a woman while Franklin Mata, left, acted as a lookout.

Legal experts say they would be shocked if the 12-person jury hands out anything less than a “guilty” verdict for the NYPD officer accused of raping a woman.

Prosecutors wrapped up their final arguments yesterday in the trial of Officer Kenneth Moreno, accused of rape, and his partner, Officer Franklin Mata, who allegedly stood lookout.

“They were supposed to be New York’s Finest,” Assistant District Attorney Coleen Balbert said of Moreno and Mata. “But on Dec. 7, 2008, they were New York’s worst.”

Today, the five-woman, seven-man jury will begin their deliberations. If found guilty, both cops could face up to 25 years in prison.

Moreno admitted making a fake 911 call to get back to the woman’s apartment the night of the alleged rape. On the witness stand, he said they spooned in her bed and he might have kissed her shoulder.

“I’m expecting a guilty verdict. The defense’s story is perhaps the most bizarre I’ve ever heard,” said James Cohen, a criminal defense professor at Fordham Law School, who did not work on the case.

“For two uniformed cops to admit going back to the apartment, to admit having cuddled with a woman drunk out her of mind, is absurd,” he said.

Could Mata go free?

Officer Franklin Mata, who said he fell asleep on the woman’s couch and doesn’t know what happened on the other side of the bedroom door, may get off, several legal experts predicted.

“The thing that may get the younger officer acquitted is the defense that he was under the influence of the older, much more sinister cop,” said Eugene O’Donnell, law professor at John Jay College and a former New York City prosecutor. “They’ll say, ‘This poor kid is just a tagalong, a dupe.’”

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlisonatMetro.


Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.


Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.


Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…


U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…


Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.


Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…


Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.


Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.


Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.


Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.


Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…


Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…


Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…


Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…