Two former New York City police officers are trying to get their misconduct convictions thrown out after being acquitted of rape, and have indicated that they'd try to keep their accuser from speaking at their sentencing if the convictions stand.
Lawyers for ex-officers Franklin Mata and Kenneth Moreno filed papers Tuesday asking a judge to toss their misdemeanor convictions for technical reasons.
Moreno and Mata were due to be sentenced Tuesday, but Moreno's lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, tells NBC New York the sentencing will be postponed.
Sources also said the delay in sentencing was to give attorneys more time to assess unaired footage related to the case from a documentary about the Manhattan district attorney's sex crimes unit. The footage is taken from "Sex Crimes Unit," a documentary that debuted June 20 on HBO. The documentary was shot by independent filmmaker Lisa Jackson and goes behind the scenes at the Manhattan district attorney's office to film prosecutors preparing for cases. The case against Mata and Moreno was included, but those scenes were later cut because the case was still open when the film was in post-production, Jackson has said.
The footage includes prosecutors discussing "investigative steps and trial strategies," mentioning the usefulness of recordings like the one in the ex-officers' case, and talking about hair and DNA test results and the potential usefulness of cell phone records, according to a summary prosecutors gave defense lawyers Monday. They said in their letter that they were turning over the material only "out of an abundance of caution."
Prosecutors have two weeks to respond in court, and declined to comment Tuesday. A judge may rule in August, when the two are now due to be sentenced.
The case stems from the then-officers' December 2008 encounter with a drunken woman they were called to help get home