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'Rape Cops' Headed to Jail After Losing Misconduct Conviction Appeal

By Irene Plagianos | November 8, 2012 5:18pm

MANHATTAN — The two ex-cops famously acquitted last year of raping a drunken 27-year-old in her East Village apartment in 2008 are heading to jail after losing an appeal to toss out their official misconduct conviction.

A state appeals court Thursday upheld a Manhattan Supreme Court’s Judges sentencing for the two men. Ex-NYPD officer Kenneth Moreno will have to spend a year in jail for official misconduct charges, while his partner was sentenced to 60 days in prison.

Moreno was accused of raping the inebriated girl while his partner, Franklin Mata, stood guard for him on Dec. 7, 2008.

Moreno, 43, and Mata, 29, were found not guilty of rape, burglary and falsifying records in May 2011 after their trial captivated the city for more than two months. But a jury convicted the pair on official misconduct charges for failing to call an ambulance for the alleged victim, as well as returning to her home three times on the day of the alleged rape.

The pair argued — in an appeal prosecutors called  "absurd" — that since they didn't receiv any benefits for their misconduct and weren't there for official business, they shouldn't be quilty of the charge.

"If it's not related to your official duties, it's not misconduct," Mata's attorney, Edward Mandery, said in court. "Going to check up on a woman that is drunk is not part of their job, but it shouldn't constitute a crime."

The state appeals court panel disagreed, writing in their decision that “While the events that occurred in the apartment are in dispute and were the subject of charges of which the defendants were acquitted, the evidence establishes that each of the defendant’s intent was, at least, to socialize with the (woman) with the view toward sexual intercourse, or to assist his partner in doing so.”