Officer On Trial For 2008 Rape Says Accuser Was The Aggressor
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NYPD officer Kenneth Moreno told jurors Monday that the 27-year-old clothing store executive accusing him of raping her in 2008 was actually the one trying to have sex.
Moreno took the stand Monday for the first time in the trial of two NYPD officers accused of raping a woman in her East Village apartment in 2008.
"She turned around," Moreno testified. "She started moving her buttock area against my groin area. It was getting crazy."
During direct examination Moreno said that inside the woman's bedroom he told her it wasn't the right time.
"We are actually looking forward to cross examination," Joseph Tacopina, Moreno's attorney, said outside the courtroom. "I don't believe there is anything he can't answer. It is his story to tell, and he's going to tell it."
While Moreno was on the stand, Tacopina asked, "Did you commit rape?"
"No," Moreno responded.
"Did you have sex with [the accuser]?" Tacopina asked.
"No," said Moreno.
Prosecutors argue the officer raped the extremely intoxicated woman after initially taking her to her East Village apartment. They say his partner Franklin Mata was the lookout.
Moreno told jurors he went back to the women's apartment several times, but only to check in on her. He says he was also trying to convince her to give up alcohol, something he said that he himself did some time ago.
"She said she can't stop drinking," Moreno testified, saying that she told him: "The holidays are here – how can I stop drinking?"
He also testified that he sang a verse of Bon Jovi's song "Living on a Prayer" to comfort her.
Moreno did admit to what he called a stupid mistake and bad judgment. He said he made a fake 911 call so the dispatcher would send him and his partner back to the woman's building, so he could go back to her apartment.
And he said to comfort the woman more, he held her on her bed and perhaps kissed her on the shoulder.
Meanwhile, Moreno's partner, Officer Franklin, testified that while Moreno was in the bedroom with the woman, Mata fell asleep on the woman's couch.
Prosecutors are preparing to question Moreno in what's expected to be a heated exchange.