Saturday, April 09, 2011

'Rape Cops' footage shows NY officers leaving and returning to alleged victim's apartment

PROSECUTORS released never-before-seen surveillance video in New York's sensational "Rape Cops" case yesterday, showing the victim as she is escorted to her East Village door in December, 2008 by the pair of officers accused of conspiring in her rape later that night.

The bulk of the video is hugely incriminating, showing the cops - accused rapist Officer Kenneth Moreno, and accused lookout Officer Franklin Mata - making three return trips to the drunken woman's apartment over the course of five hours, the New York Post reported.

But defense lawyers are hanging their acquittal hopes on a three or four-second snippet at the start of the tape. In it, the victim - a drunken, then-28-year-old fashion executive - is clearly depicted walking unassisted while talking to Mata and pushing open her own front door.

The two cops are charged with conspiring to rape the woman under a criminal statute requiring proof she was too drunk and helpless to consent.

So while the cops are denying there was any intercourse at all that night, they are still hoping to clinch their case on a crucial technicality using this equation: No intoxication equals no conviction.

In the tape, Mata, a three-year-rookie, gives no more aid to the woman than to place his hand on her back as she approaches her door. Moreno follows them inside at several feet's distance.

Still, prosecutors Coleen Balbert and Randolph Clarke have promised jurors a mountain of evidence proving the woman was indeed too drunk to consent, including test results indicating her blood alcohol content hovered around .20 during those five hours - more than twice the legal driving limit.

And so far in the three-day-old trial, three friends of the woman and her cab driver from that night have told jurors that she was a booze-filled wreck after a night of Champagne chased with five big cups of Red Bull and Jack Daniels.

The woman's fashion business boss, Joanna Elizabeth Kreling, also bolstered the prosecution case by telling jurors that the woman was "devastated" and "just demoralized" even days after the incident.

"She seemed completely broken down and crying and emotional," Kreling said of speaking to her friend by phone an hour after she'd woke up naked on her bed the next morning. "She said that she had been raped and that it was a cop."

Original report here

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