NYPD Rape Accuser's Memory Wrong: Defense

Monday, May 16, 2011  |  Updated 5:55 PM EDT
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NYPD Rape Accuser's Memory Wrong: Defense

Kenneth Moreno, at left, and Franklin Mata, at right, enter court.

There was "not a single stitch of DNA evidence" that a drunken woman was raped by a police officer while his partner stood watch, a lawyer for the second officer told jurors in his closing argument Monday.

"There's no forensic proof that a rape took place," said lawyer Edward Mandery, who is representing Officer Franklin Mata in the trial in Manhattan state Supreme Court.

Mandery said the accuser's memory of the December 2008 encounter was faulty, since she gave conflicting accounts of how many drinks she had consumed that night and which belt she was wearing.

"It's very dangerous to rely upon the testimony of someone who doesn't have a clear memory, who doesn't have an accurate memory," Mandery said.

Prosecutors say Mata stood watch as fellow Officer Kenneth Moreno raped the woman. Both officers have denied all charges.

The woman testified that she drunkenly passed out and awoke to being raped after the officers escorted her home. Moreno says she made advances and he lay alongside her in bed, but they didn't have sex.

Mandery said the 29-year-old fashion executive's "agenda" was pursuing her $57 million lawsuit against the officers and the city.

"She knows she may never have to work for the rest of her life," he said.

Mandery said it would have been out of character for the officers to assault a woman they were trying to help.

"He's filling out an accident report and now it's his meal break and he turns into a monster?" the lawyer asked.

Prosecutors are expected to deliver their closing arguments Tuesday in the seven-week trial.

In his closing argument Friday, Moreno's lawyer Joseph Tacopina also stressed the lack of forensic evidence and the accuser's patchy memory.

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