‘Rape cops’ misconduct sentencing is postponed

Police Officers Franklin Mata, left, and Kenneth Moreno in Manhattan Supreme Court in March during their criminal trial for raping an intoxicated East Village woman in December 2008. They were acquitted of rape. File photo by Jefferson Siegel

BY ALBERT AMATEAU  |  The sentencing date for Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata, former Ninth Precinct officers acquitted of rape but found guilty of official misconduct, has been put off until Aug. 8.

The new date was announced on June 28, the original sentencing date, after defense and prosecution lawyers argued issues, including whether the accuser in the rape case may testify at a pre-sentence hearing.

Defense lawyers argued that because the defendants were not found guilty of rape, the woman who accused them no longer has the right as a victim to address the court.

The defense also argued that the official misconduct convictions should be tossed out because jurors were told that they would have to agree that there had been both a dereliction of duty and a benefit received. However, prosecutors argued that the benefit was the same as the dereliction, in that the officers spent time in the accuser’s E. 13th St. apartment rather than patrolling the streets on the night of Dec. 7, 2008.

Defense lawyers also said they may seek to reverse the misconduct charges because prosecutors failed to turn over HBO documentary video footage of the chief prosecutor talking to the chief investigator in the case before the investigator took the stand in the trial.