Lawyers Try To Prevent Victim From Speaking During "Rape Cop" Sentencing

The two NYPD officers charged with raping a woman while they were on duty were supposed to be sentenced on Tuesday, but their court date was postponed. Their lawyers took the opportunity to make more infuriating claims about the victim.

To recap, Kenneth Moreno, who was charged with raping the woman, and his partner Franklin Mata, who was accused of standing guard during the incident, were both acquitted in May. Though several jurors said after the verdict that they believed the victim was telling the truth, they didn't convict the cops of the most serious charges because there was no DNA evidence (and of course, you can't really trust what a woman says, particularly if she's been drinking). Moreno and Mata were found guilty of the lesser charge of official misconduct for repeatedly returning to the woman's apartment when they were on duty.

On Tuesday, their sentencing was postponed until August 8 to give lawyers time to review some very important evidence: An HBO documentary. According to Gothamist, even though there was no information about the "rape cop" case in Sex Crimes Unit, if authorities discuss the case in edited footage, the defense may be able to to argue that prosecutors should have turned the video over during the trial.

That isn't the only way the defendants are trying to weasel out of punishment. Their lawyers have requested that the charges be dropped because in order for there to be official misconduct one must commit an unauthorized act and obtain a benefit. The rape is the benefit here. The New York Times explains:

In this case, the unauthorized act was the officers' being in the woman's apartment when they were supposed to be on duty. But the official-misconduct law does not apply if the officers sought no benefit beyond not doing their jobs, the defense argues, even though the prosecution suggested so to the jury.

And to make the case just a bit more enraging, defense attorneys now say that the woman should not be allowed to make a victim impact statement at the sentencing. Joseph Tacopina, Moreno's attorney, said,

"She is not a victim on any count of conviction. She's had her day. She's spoken before the jury."

Allowing the woman to speak could convince the court to give them the maximum sentence allowed, which is still only two years in jail. But according to the defense, she isn't the victim of police officers unlawfully entering her apartment, so she shouldn't be allowed to describe what the crime did to her.

Sentencing Postponed In "Rape Cop" Case, For HBO [Gothamist]
Lawyers For 2 Ex-Officers Ask Judge To Bar Accuser From Speaking At Sentencing [NYT via Gothamist]

Earlier: NYC Cops' Unbelievable Rape Acquittal Sparks Protest (As It Damn Well Should)
Juror On NYPD Rape Case: "A Woman Knows When She Is Penetrated."