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Despite being acquitted of rape, ex-NYPD officer Kenneth Moreno was sentenced to a year in jail on an official misconduct charge. Moreno was acquitted of the East Village rape in May.
Moreno and another officer, Franklin Mata, were accused of rape by a fashion executive who said the police officers helped her to her apartment when she was intoxicated then raped her while she was semi-conscious, Reuters reports.
The two officers were fired from their positions on the force as a result of their convictions. Mata is scheduled to be sentenced later this week, reports The New York Times.
Their acquittal for the rape charges had also set off a flurry of negative reactions, with online petitions asking the judge to give both men the maximum sentence, according to The New York Times.
While there was no DNA evidence to back up the victim's testimony about the rape, there was apparently enough evidence for the jury to find that both men were guilty of official misconduct because they had made repeated trips to the woman's apartment that night.
In New York, a public servant, including police officers, can be guilty of official misconduct if they commit acts that relate to his office but are an unauthorized use of such functions. Moreno certainly was not authorized to enter the victim's home the night of the alleged rape.
While Kenneth Moreno was sentenced to a year in prison, one can only speculate as to what Mata, the other officer, will face. The official misconduct conviction surely carries a much lighter penalty compared to if the two men had been convicted of the East Village rape.
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