While we all wait for Nancy Grace to personally hunt down and murder Casey Anthony, let's not forget the last time we felt outraged about a "not guilty" verdict: When NYPD officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata were acquitted of charges that Moreno had raped a drunk woman while Mata stood guard. And, in particular let's not miss out on the recently-revealed news that the "rape cops" had "another documented and troubling encounter with an intoxicated young woman."
The incident never came out during the trial, but the Village Voice spoke with the young woman in question, who claims she was roughed up and harassed by Mata and Moreno in August 2008—months before the rape allegedly took place. She (the Voice calls her "Caitlin") was, like the woman who later accused Moreno of rape, celebrating at a bar in the East Village when she was kicked out after arguing with the bartender. A group of teenagers wandered by and robbed her, and eventually the police showed up:
"They aren't taking me seriously from the beginning," she tells the Voice during an interview at Junior's Restaurant in Brooklyn. "I'm trying to be reasonable and rational, saying my things were stolen, and they are laughing and giggling, patronizing me. So I get upset. They grab me, push me against the car, handcuff me, and put me in the back seat. They aren't taking my report. They also hit my friend."
While she was in the police car, Caitlin says Mata looked through her bag, took out a sanitary pad, and said, "Is this why you're so cranky?"
They apparently dropped her off a few blocks from the bar. But she ran into the pair again outside a pizza place, when an apparently well-meaning couple called the police to help her. She quickly wound up in a cell, from which she wasn't released until 7 a.m.
Later that day, Caitlin went to both the Civilian Complaint Review Board and the station where she'd been held to make a complaint against the officers. There, she found that no theft report had been filed, despite her requests to do so the night before. According to the Voice, there's no evidence that it was ever investigated.
Caitlin didn't realize that the officers she'd had trouble with were the "Rape Cops" of tabloid fame until the acquittal, when she saw their faces on television. But she'd been interviewed in March 2009, a month before charges were brought against Moreno and Mata. It's unclear why her story was never made a part of the trial, though, as the Voice writes, "[t]he rules on introducing... 'prior bad acts' are very strict." But based on what jurors have said about why they acquitted the cops, it may not have mattered anyway.
[Village Voice, images via AP]