In the final chapter of a case that’s gripped the city, a jury found two NYPD officers not guilty of a rape allegation on Thursday.
The officers, Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata, were accused of raping a woman they had been called to help in 2008 because she was too drunk to get home.
After six days of deliberation, the 12-person jury cleared the officers of rape and burglary charges.
“I just want to go home,” Moreno said, with tears in his eyes after the verdict. “I just want to be with my children. … To be honest, I believe she made the whole thing up.”
Both officers were, however, convicted of official misconduct.
Moreno and Mata were suspended from the police department when the case began, and don’t expect to see them back patrolling the streets. Immediately after the verdict, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly announced that, effective immediately, the two will be terminated from the force.
Although Moreno admitted he cuddled with the woman and even kissed her, the prosecution lacked DNA evidence in the case.
Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlisonatMetro.