Franklin Mata: Exonerated in rape, disgraced by misconduct
An ex-cop accused of serving as a lookout while his partner allegedly raped an East Village woman broke down yesterday during his dramatic courtroom appearance.
Franklin Mata, whose partner, Kenneth Moreno, was acquitted of charges he raped a drunk woman the two officers were called to help, pleaded to the judge for leniency during his sentencing yesterday for official misconduct.
He also seemed to be asking the city of New York to forgive him.
“I never meant anyone to be hurt that night,” Mata said, his voice cracking and his eyes filling with tears. “I didn’t think this one night would cost me two and a half years of my life,” he continued. “I have endured plenty. I have lost my job, my name and the respect of the people of New York.”
Judge Gregory Carro hoisted most of the blame on Moreno. “You certainly drew the short straw when you drew him as your partner,” he said.
But he also told Mata that he lied on the stand and failed to stop his partner from breaking the law.
“Forever you will be a disgraced police officer,”?said Carro. “Forever you will have the scarlet letter shining on your back, and that’s a serious punishment.”
Mata was ultimately sentenced to 60 days in prison, much less time than his former partner, who Carro slammed with one full year behind bars on Monday.
Mata’s lawyer, Ed Mandery, plans to appeal the ruling, but said he did think it was fair that Mata received a lighter sentence.
‘Simpleton following a fox’
Judge Carro portrayed Mata as a young officer reluctant to turn in his partner who had “morally bankrupt” intentions.
“For some reason you continued to carry your partner’s bags throughout the trial, which quite frankly, I don’t understand,” he said.
“Maybe his attorney was talking about you when he described a simpleton. Maybe you are the simpleton following the fox.”
Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlisonatMetro.