After accused rapist and former cop Kenneth Moreno was sentenced yesterday to 1 year in prison for official misconduct, the Daily News' Joanna Molloy echoed the sentiments of many when she called it a "rare and jarring spectacle." Even the Post's Andrea Peyser praised Judge Carro for letting Moreno "have it square in the jaw." But those gratifying feelings of seeing "the system work" were chilled by the reality of the system itself: just hours after being sentenced and led away to jail, Moreno was released on $125,000 bail pending appeal. His attorneys continue to argue for dismissal.
The New York State Appellate Judge who granted Moreno's release, Nelson Roman, was a former NYPD officer in the Bronx from 1982-1989, DNAinfo reports. Moreno's appellate attorney, Chad Seigel, continued the defense's line of reasoning that because to commit "official misconduct," there must be a "benefit" to the crime, and in this case there was none. "The benefit can't be not doing your job and that's an issue here," Seigel said in court.
In contrast to a female juror in Moreno's trial who later said she had "no doubt" that Moreno raped the accuser, juror Chris Hazeltine told NY1 that he was upset by Judge Carro's upbraiding of Moreno in open court yesterday. "For the judge to bring back all of the things that we found them not guilty on is kind of offensive," Hazeltine said, "We have a court of law…So I feel the judge is unfair.” Moreno's partner, Franklin Mata, is scheduled to be sentenced for official misconduct tomorrow.
Update (9/9/11): Gothamist has published a long-form feature about the Rape Cop case, written by one of the jurors. It takes you behind the scenes during their deliberations, and explains how they came to their controversial verdict. Buy it today as a PDF or on Kindle.