NEW YORK — A huge crowd gathered outside the criminal court in Manhattan yesterday, in protest of the acquittal of two police officers charged with raping a drunken women in her apartment.
The protest was organized by a coalition of women’s rights groups, including Permanent Wave and Feministing. The purpose of the demonstration, as stated on the Facebook page for the event, was to urge the New York Police Department to implement comprehensive sexual assault training for new officers, along with other preventative measures that will ensure similar incidents do not happen in the future.
Officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata were called to help a drunken woman get out of a taxi in 2008. The woman testified that she awoke to being raped by Moreno. Officer Mata was said to have stood guard during the incident. Surveillance cameras showed the men entering and exiting the house several times over the course of a few hours.
Moreno was also recorded assuring the woman that she “didn’t have to worry about getting any diseases” because he “used a condom,” but Moreno later claimed that he said that to get her to leave him alone.
Though the officers were acquitted of the rape charges, they were fired from the NYPD the same day.
The two will be sentenced by the State Supreme Court on June 28. They each face up to two years behind bars due to official misconduct convictions. Had they been found guilty of rape, the pair could have been in jail for up to 25 years.