'I Don't Kiss and Tell,' Says Cop Accused of Rape
By Shayna Jacobs
MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — A cop accused of raping a woman said he kept his partner in the dark about his self-proclaimed "snuggle" with the alleged victim because he doesn't "kiss and tell."
Officer Kenneth Moreno said the reason his partner has no idea about what happened inside the woman's bedroom during four visits to her apartment overnight on Dec. 7, 2008 was because he never spoke to him about it, even though they spent at least 40 hours a week together and his partner was sitting right outside the room at the time.
"I don't kiss and tell. I have a reputation of not saying (anything)," Moreno told a Manhattan jury Wednesday during his third day on the stand.
Moreno's partner, Franklin Mata, 29, testified last week that he had fallen asleep on the woman's couch when Moreno was in the 27-year-old fashion industry professional's bedroom. He claimed he had no memory of the interaction — a claim prosecutors now seem to be suggesting was the result of a coverup attempt by the two officers who are now both on trial on charges of rape, burglary and official misconduct.
Prosecutor Coleen Balbert ripped into Moreno's claims that he had to resist the woman's seductive advances after he and his partner escorted her home, asking whether it was plausible that a woman who had been vomiting in the toilet for hours suddenly turned into a "seductress."
"The same (woman) who was standing in the bathroom vomiting ... was the same woman that was the seductress in the bedroom, is that what you're telling us?" Balbert asked the officer.
"I wouldn't call her a 'seductress,'" Moreno said, later conceding that he was claiming that the woman went from being sick to trying to tempt him into a romantic rendezvous.
Moreno claimed he had to resist the advances of the woman he'd been assigned to help into her East Village apartment after she was too drunk to get out of her cab.
He testified that he used restraint while the alleged victim stripped down to a pink bra and rubbed against his groin, adding that he only wanted to stay with her because he believed she had a drinking problem, and he was sympathetic because of his own battles with alcoholism. He testifed he sang to her, cuddled with her, and kissed her on the forehead and possibly her shoulder.
The tale is vastly different from the version given by prosecutors and the alleged victim — and she took the stand earlier in the trial to give an emotional description of her horrific experience of waking up in her bedroom as Moreno ripped off her tights and raped her from behind. She said her body was "dead weight" and she could not even move, let alone resist what he was doing.
Lawyers for the officers say she was too drunk to remember what happened that night, citing her foggy memory and alcohol-induced blackouts.
Balbert asked Moreno why he wasn't alarmed by the alleged victim's allegations when she confronted him in front of his NYPD precinct on Dec. 17, 2008, one week after the night in question.
Moreno added that he was "confused" about what she was asking and didn't think she was accusing him of rape.
"You heard all of those things come out of her mouth, then she said to you, 'Did you use a condom?' What about that was confusing to you?" Balbert said.
"That it didn't happen," Moreno said.
Moreno suggested on the stand that perhaps the woman was taken advantage of by another man while she was out earlier with her friends at her going away party at Southpaw in Brooklyn.
Each officer is charged with rape, burglary and official misconduct. They face up to 25 years in prison a piece if convicted.