, the NYPD officer who is charged with raping a woman in her East Village apartment while his partner stood watch, took the stand today and offered a simple "no," when asked by his attorney if he committed rape, the Post reports. "I am nervous," Moreno testified after being prompted by his attorney to share his state of mind, and also a issued a curt "no" to whether or not he and Officer Franklin Mata broke into his accuser's apartment. He did, however, admit to committing "patrol guide violations."
Despite prosecutors presenting evidence that the victim's blood alcohol level was as much as four times the legal limit, Moreno painted a picture of relative sobriety, telling the jury that the victim said "I'm not drunk. I'm just sick." He also recalled warning her that she would have to go to the hospital if she couldn't stand up on her own power, but eventually "She stood right up. She was a little unstable at first. But once she got her ground she stood fine."CBS quotes Moreno as saying "We talked about music. I even sang to her. I sang Bon Jovi’s ‘Living On A Prayer.’” Moreno's testimony echoes that of his former partner, who called conversation between the policemen and the victim "friendly" and "flirty."
As the Times noted over the weekend, the trial has at times featured graphic testimony and photographs of the victim's cervix, as well as bizarre references to venus fly traps and the actor Vin Diesel. Moreno will continue his testimony on Tuesday.
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.