Updated 05/13/2011 06:55 PM
NYPD Rape Trial Nears End As Defense Delivers Closing Arguments
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Defense attorney Joseph Tacopina spoke for nearly four hours Friday, hoping to convince the jury that his client, Officer Kenneth Moreno, is not guilty of rape.
Moreno is accused of raping a drunk woman while helping her into her East Village apartment back in December 2008. His partner, Officer Franklin Mata, is accused of standing lookout as the situation unfolded.
On Friday, Moreno's defense attorney claimed there's plenty of reasonable doubt that the crime occurred.
"I think jurors could find a host of ways to acquit Officer Moreno," said Tacopina.
Defense lawyers said the clothing store executive's own words should be enough for jurors to set the officers free.
"When you tell your best friends the day of the incident and the day after, ‘I think I was raped,’ ‘I may have been raped,’ or ‘I believe I was raped,’ that is bone-chilling to me to think that that would evolve into an indictment of a New York City police officer," said Tacopina.
After a cabbie called 911 for help because the woman was drunk, Moreno and Mata helped her into her East Village apartment. But surveillance videos show them going back three more times during their overnight shift. They said they were making sure she was alright.
But prosecutors said Moreno saw her as easy prey. Tacopina said the prosecution is way off and that the woman was totally out of it. He told jurors, "She wasn't so drunk that she was physically helpless like they want you to believe."
During the trial, the accuser testified she didn't remember everything because she had several Red Bull and vodkas and other drinks at the party. Tacopina said that raises questions about what she really remembers from her time with Moreno.
"This woman did many, many things that night that she has absolutely no recollection of, and that is called a blackout,” said Tacopina.
On Monday, the defense lawyer for Officer Mata will present his closing argument, followed by the prosecution.
If convicted, the officers could spend up to 25 years in prison.