More revolting details emerged on the rape charges against two NYPD officers during their arraignment yesterday, and Commissioner Ray Kelly held a special press conference to publicly condemn the men. Officer Kenneth Moreno—a 17-year veteran on the force and 41-year-old married father of two—pleaded not guilty to allegations that he illegally entered an unidentified woman's East Village apartment and, according to Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau, "had sexual intercourse with the physically helpless victim as she lay face down on her bed, having previously vomited multiple times."
A cab driver who had driven the 27-year-old woman home called 911 after she passed out in her cab around 1 a.m. on December 7th; the Daily News reports that she had a blood-alcohol level between 0.20% and 0.33%, or more than 2-1/2 times the legal driving limit. After escorting her into her apartment, Moreno and his partner, 27-year-old Franklin Mata, were caught on surveillance video returning twice, and prosecutors say that it was during the second visit that Moreno raped her, while Mata assisted by acting as a lookout.
In court yesterday Mata's lawyer argued that his client should not be charged simply for being present, and according to Newsday, he contended that "the victim is saying, 'I was so drunk I didn't know what happened.'" But Assistant DA Randolph Clarke told the judge, "The complainant does have a memory of being sexually assaulted and remembers them in her apartment."
And the Times reports that prosecutors have a recording of a 14-second telephone conversation between Moreno and the woman on Dec. 15th, and another recording of a 23-minute conversation they had in front of the Ninth Precinct in the East Village two days later. The full content of their conversations is not yet known, but Clarke said that Moreno was caught on tape telling the victim that he used a condom. No DNA has yet linked either officer to the crime scene, and Moreno has provided a DNA sample.
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.
Appearing with Morgenthau at a press conference yesterday, commissioner Kelly told reporters, "The allegations are so egregious here that its imperative that I speak out. This is a shocking aberration in stark contrast to the good work that the members of the New York City Police Department do every day. It's simply outrageous that police are summoned to help and are alleged to have taken advantage [of a woman]." But the Post notes that Kelly apparently knew of the allegations months before they became public, and placed the pair on modified duty instead of suspending them, even after heroin was found in the Moreno's locker. Both cops posted $175,000 bail and were released after being charged with rape, burglary and official misconduct.