Volume 78 - Number 47 / April 29 - May 5 , 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Villager photos by J.B. Nicholas

On Tuesday, at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, at 1 Hogan Place, Police Officers Kenneth Moreno, left, and Franklin Mata, right, surrendered to authorities after being indicted on rape and other charges.

Two 9th Precinct officers are indicted in East Village rape

By Albert Amateau

Two Ninth Precinct police officers, Kenneth Moreno, 41, a 17-year Police Department veteran, and his partner, Franklin L. Mata, 26, a policeman for three years, were indicted on Tues., April 28, on charges of rape and other offenses in connection with a Dec. 7 incident last year at the apartment of a woman on E. 13th St.

The charges include burglary, official misconduct, criminal possession of a controlled substance and tampering with evidence, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Around 12:30 a.m. on Sun., Dec. 7, friends of the victim, 27, put her in a cab because she was drunk, and told the driver to take her to her E. 13th St. home, according to the charges. At the destination, the driver phoned 911 for help because the woman was too drunk to get out of the cab herself, the indictment says. Officers Moreno and Mata responded. Both were recorded on a security camera from a bar next door helping the woman into her building and leaving several minutes later, the indictment says.

The two officers then returned to the building twice, once for 17 minutes and the next time for 34 minutes. Those two entries are the basis for the burglary charges, according to the D.A. While in the apartment, Moreno had sexual intercourse with the victim as she lay facedown on her bed and after she had vomited several times, the indictment says. Moreno’s partner, Mata, “assisted in the act,” according to the charges.

The victim reported the sexual assault the following morning and was treated at Beth Israel Hospital and released. Moreno, married with three children, was charged with drug possession because a package of heroin was found in his locker at the Ninth Precinct on E. Fifth St.

Lawyers for the two defendants pleaded them not guilty at their arraignment on Tuesday afternoon. Each was being held in lieu of $175,000 bail pending a May 21 court appearance. For their safety, they were each being held in protective custody as requested by their lawyers.

Following their arrest in December, the two officers reportedly were claiming the sex was consensual. But under law, a person who is incapacitated by alcohol or drugs is incapable of sexual consent.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said, regarding the two Ninth Precinct officers, “This is a shocking aberration in stark contrast to the outstanding work that the men and women of the New York City Police Department do every day on the streets of our city. The public needs to know that the police are there to protect them. And I believe that they do.’’

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