Update: 11:17 a.m. One of the two NYPD officers accused, but then acquitted of raping a woman
has been sentenced to one year in jail, a Manhattan judge ruled just
Kenneth Moreno was sentenced to the maximum jail time of one year in prison, by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Gregory Carro, who made it clear that he did not believe the ex-cop's testimony that he was merely "counseling" the woman he admitted to holding while she was naked.
Moreno's family held each other and wept when the sentencing was announced. He was immediately led to jail.
The woman who accused the two cops of rape sobbed in court and held tissues to her face in the courtroom's front row as the judge defended her.
Carro mocked Moreno's testimony, calling it "tailored" and sarcastically recounting how he admitted returning to the woman's apartment merely to counsel her about her addiction to alcohol.
"There's only two reasons why someone would risk their job," he said, "and one of them is not to go counsel a young woman on the perils of extensive drinking."
The woman, a fashion executive, admitted she was drunk and called the two police officers to help her into her apartment. It was there, she said, that Moreno raped her while his partner, Franklin Mata, stood guard.
The judge continued, "By your own admission you were in bed with a naked, intoxicated woman ... You're a trained police officer. It's not too far a stretch to believe you could have avoided being in that bed."
By lying and avoiding his duty, the judge said, "You've undermined the role of other police officers who have to do a tough job in this city."
The high-powered defense attorney for Moreno, Joe Tacopina, asked for probation for his client, asking the judge to consider that Moreno would be targeted in jail.
"Certainly everyone knows the potential dangers that befall a police officer in the criminal justice system," he said.
But Carro argued that his status as a former police officer actually warranted a tougher sentence.
"Your attorney said you should be treated like any other defendant, but the law treats police officers differently because of their role. Crimes against police officers are treated more severely that crimes against civilians," he said. "If you kill a police officer, it's murder one. If you kill Joe Smith it's murder two."
The sentencing of Mata was adjourned until Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., due to scheduling conflicts with his attorney.
Both men were acquitted of rape earlier this year but convicted of official misconduct for returning to a woman's apartment and faking a 911 call while on duty.
They face one to three years in prison. Both were kicked off the police force after being found guilty of official misconduct.
Moreno and Mata each entered around 9:30 a.m., shaking the hands of friends and family there to support them.
Women's rights protesters in red shirts are in the courtroom, and the woman who accused the police officers of rape is expected to ask to make a statement. Tacopina vehemently opposes the idea.