Friday, April 15, 2011

NYPD Rape Cops On Trial

Accuser back on stand in NYPD 'rape cops' trial: Admits drinking, but says 'I remember I was raped'
By Melissa Grace and Corky Siemaszko
Originally Published:Friday, April 15th 2011, 12:25 PM

The fashion exec who says two cops brutally raped her stuck to her story Friday as lawyers for the officers tried to shoot holes in it.
Parrying questions meant to undermine her credibility, the woman admitted she was drunk and "passed out" several times on the night of the alleged attack - but remembers clearly what happened to her.
"I remember, obviously, that I was in a cab," the 29-year-old Gap executive said at the trial of the two officers. "I remember that two police officers helped me in the hallway. And I remember that I was raped by them."

Several times, defense lawyer Joseph Tacopina suggested the woman might not have clear memories of her encounter with his client, Officer Kenneth Moreno, and the cop's partner, Officer Franklin Mata.
Each time, the woman insisted that while she might not recall all the details - like everything she drank, or what she might have told the cops - she remembers being violated.

"I think the memory I've held onto is the penetration," she said.

The woman lost her composure only when Tacopina asked her why she downplayed the violence in an e-mail to a pal.
"When something like this happens to you, the shock is so surreal that you just try to figure out what you need to do afterward," she said. "You tell people you're OK, even though you're not, just to get through it - and you want to get through it."
Prosecutors say Moreno, 44, raped the woman in her East Village apartment in December 2008 while Mata, 28, stood watch. Both officers deny any rape occurred and insist the woman was too bombed to remember what really happened.

Moreno drew the judge's ire before this accuser took the stand when he sauntered into court 20 minutes late.
"I will remand you," Supreme Court Justice Gregory Carro told Moreno.
Carro said this wasn't the first time and threatened to revoke his bail if he was tardy again.
Tacopina grilled the woman a day after she faced down Moreno and Mata and described the sexual assault in graphic detail to a Manhattan Supreme Court jury.
By turns defiant and tearful, she testified they took advantage of her drunken state to launch a sexual assault so savage and sudden it left her with a bruised cervix.

"I woke up to being penetrated from behind," she said. "I woke up because the action of his penetration was so hard that my head was moving toward the window [at the head of her bed] like it was going to go through it."
The woman said she had no way to fight back "because I was so intoxicated, I was dead weight ... I couldn't say or do anything."
Her wrenching testimony came as prosecutors released the transcript of a recording she secretly made for prosecutors when she confronted Moreno outside a police precinct.
In it, Moreno admitted "it was only me" after she asked him repeatedly if they both raped her. She also got the cop to say, "Yes, yes I did," when she asked if he wore a condom.

Moreno and Mata are both charged with rape and face up to 25 years in prison, if convicted.
Prosecutors say the attack happened after they responded to a 911 call from a cabbie who said he had an intoxicated woman in his taxi. They say the cops returned to her apartment several more times that night.
The woman, who has moved to San Francisco, was at a going away party in Brooklyn before her encounter with Moreno and Mata, prosecutors said.

The women testified she showered after the attack because "I felt so dirty."
"You didn't us any feminine cleaning product - a douche - you didn't clean yourself internally?" Tacopina asked.
"No," she replied.

Prosecutors say there is no DNA to prove sexual contact between the woman and the cop.

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