Two New York City tabloid stories — one current and one from a quarter-century ago — crashed into one another yesterday in a Manhattan court room during a gynecologist’s testimony in the rape case against two New York Police Department officers, Franklin Mata and Kenneth Moreno. During cross-examination of the day’s expert witness, prosecutors grilled Dr. Mitchell Essig about his role in the illegal 1986 adoption by Joel Steinberg, who later beat his six-year-old daughter, also adopted illegally, to death. Dr. Essig had helped deliver an infant boy directly to Steinberg’s law office. Though Essig clarified that he was never charged with a role in the crimes, it probably didn’t speak well to the jurors for his reputation, or at least that was the idea.
Dr. Essig had just testified that the East Village woman, who claims she was raped by the cops assigned to help her get home after a drunk night, had just “common” bruises on cervix. Prosecutors allege that the red spot found during a sexual assault examination is consistent with her claim that she was raped while lying on her stomach.
“This is a normal cervix,” said Dr. Essig, though on cross-examination, he admitted to never having administered a sexual assault exam.