The details of the “rape cops” trial that has been fascinating and horrifying New Yorkers these past few months just keep getting scuzzier and scuzzier. Now the accused officers are trying to portray the horrific (alleged) sexual assault as an innocent case of an ex-alcoholic offering counseling to a distressed, drunk young woman.
To recap, Officer Kenneth Moreno is accused of raping a 27-year-old woman in her East Village apartment after a taxi driver called 911 to report that a young woman in his cab was too drunk to get out. Moreno and his partner Frank Matta responded to the call, and escorted the woman to her apartment--only to return a few hours later. This time, they were responding to a 911 call from someone called “John Edwards,” who claimed there was a vagrant sleeping in the building. Moreno has now admitted that he faked the call himself. It was during this second visit to the apartment that the alleged rape took place. Moreno’s partner also faces charges for allegedly playing the role of lookout while Moreno assaulted the woman. In his defense, Officer Matta claims he was “asleep” in the next room.
It’s becoming increasingly hard to feel objective in this case, as the cops’ story becomes more and more ludicrous as the trial progresses. And this is not to mention the recording recently heard in court of Moreno assuring the victim that he “used a condom” that night, an exchange secretly taped by the victim after the event. Moreno explained this damning admission thus: “She was freaking out. I was considering telling her anything. Whatever she wanted to hear, just to make her happy. I told her that to please her, I wanted it to stop. It wasn’t like what she said.”
Now the latest twist: Moreno, who claims he is a recovering alcoholic, now says he was only there to “counsel” the young woman about her alcohol abuse. To further bolster his good guy credentials, he explained that he had turned to drinking “after 9/11”. And what was the specific counseling technique that Moreno used? A back rub, a kiss on the shoulder, and singing a verse of Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer”. "Kenneth Moreno is an alcoholic, he'd had a serious drinking problem," Moreno’s defense lawyer, Joseph Tacopina said in court. "He's tried to help many, many people along the way with alcohol problems."
We can’t help wondering if the “many, many people” that Moreno has “helped” along the way were unlucky enough to get the special treatment that this victim alleges? Forget the 13th Step. If Moreno’s version of events are to be believed, it seems that this guy was way beyond that. The 14th Step, anyone?