Two former police officers convicted of official misconduct in a 2008 rape case were taken into custody Thursday. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Former New York City Police Department officer Kenneth Moreno sat in State Supreme Court Thursday, upset as handcuffs were put on him and he was taken away to start serving a 1-year sentence for official misconduct.
His lawyer had exhausted all his appeals in state court, and a federal judge turned down his last-minute request to grant bail or postpone the sentencing.
"I felt the facts were just assumed by the judge a little too negatively," said Stephen Preziosi, Moreno's attorney.
Moreno was accused of raping a drunk woman inside her East Village apartment after he and his former partner, Franklin Mata, helped her home in 2008. Prosecutors claimed Mata kept lookout.
A jury acquitted the men of the most serious charges of rape and burglary but did find them guilty of official misconduct. The officers were seen on video surveillance returning to the woman's building several times while lying to their bosses about their whereabouts.
Moreno's lawyer said he's still moving forward with the federal appeal. He argued the former officer's constitutional rights were violated.
"There were a lot of leaks, coming out of, we believe the DA's office, tainting the jury pool," Preziosi said.
With a lot less drama, Franklin Mata turned himself hours earlier to serve his two-month sentence. Moreno's lawyer questioned why the former partners are serving different punishments.
"Mr. Mata received a 60-day sentence with probation, and Mr. Moreno was given the maximum sentence," Preziosi said. "And they were substantially similar cases, in the sense that they were convicted of the same things."
Franklin Mata's attorney didn't even appear in court with his client. He told NY1 he didn't need to because Mata was ready to start serving his sentence in order to bring closure to the case and move on with his life.