New York Police Officer Kenneth Moreno stands accused of raping a drunk East Village woman after he was called to her apartment by a cab driver to help her get upstairs to her apartment; his partner Franklin Mata is accused of keeping watch during the rape, waiting in the living room. After weeks of testimony, some of it enough to make anyone queasy, Moreno took the stand on Monday, painting himself as a victim of 9/11 and a recovering alcoholic, while describing the woman as the aggressive one. He says he and the woman just cuddled, the New York Times reports: “he counseled the woman about the dangers of drinking, held her hand, rubbed her shoulders and back, and sang Bon Jovi to her.”
Moreno admitted to having visited the woman’s apartment four times that night and to faking a 911 call “to get dispatchers to send him back to the woman’s apartment.” The Times reports that it was a “stupid decision” he made “so he could go back and check on her.”
He described being in bed with the woman, giving her “a peck on the forehead,” and her trying to kiss him:
“I guess I could have put up more resistance,” he said. “I didn’t.” Instead, he lay on his left side, he testified, recalling that her back was to him and that his left arm was pinned beneath her. His gun was digging into his left hip, he said.
“Stay with me,” he said she told him. “Just stay with me.”
He told her that he could not stay, but he lay there and wrapped his arms around her for “a second or two,” he testified, “just to make her feel better.”
The Times notes that Moreno will continue testimony today, and likely face questions about the secret recording the woman made in which Moreno indicates, after some denials, that he at least wore a condom when the two had sex. The defense maintains that no sex occurred, but that if it did, the woman was sober enough to give consent because she was a seasoned drinker.