Accuser cross-examined in NYPD rape trial

April 15, 2011 4:47:32 PM PDT
Dramatic and disturbing testimony continued in the rape trial of two New York City police officers.

The woman admits she was drunk, but insists that the officers who were supposed to get her home safely instead raped her.

In court on Friday, the defense tried several times to undermine her credibility.

Pressing her about some of her previous testimony and statements she made to friends after the alleged rape in 2008, she acknowledged gaps in her memory and admitted turning to Facebook chats and email with friends.

"I was trying to fill in the pieces," she testified.

Defense attorneys contend that the woman had had too many drinks and was too intoxicated to remember exactly what happened.

She has accused the two New York City police officers of raping her in December 2008.

Prosecutors say Officer Kenneth Moreno raped the fashion executive while Officer Franklin Mata was the lookout.

Under cross examination, the accuser testified that she told a friend after the alleged attack, "I was raped. I'm pretty sure it was the cops."

Friday's testimony follows an emotional day on the stand on Thursday as the 29 year old woman talked about what happened that night in her East Village Apartment.

The woman and the officers met after a taxi driver called police to say she was having trouble getting out of his cab.

Surveillance video shows the officers went back to her building three times within four hours after initially ushering her inside, and they told dispatchers each time they returned that they were either on a meal break or responding to other calls. Defense lawyers have said the woman asked them to check on her during the night.

While there is no DNA evidence in the case, prosecutors say there are other medical indications that she was raped.

The woman told jurors she woke up the next morning and immediately felt "the shock of the rape." After showering, she ran upstairs to tell friends in a neighboring apartment what had happened.

Unwilling to turn to police, she went to a lawyer and then to the Manhattan district attorney's office. Investigators had her confront Moreno outside his stationhouse a few days later, with her wearing a watch that secretly recorded their conversation.

On the recording, Moreno repeatedly denies violating her. But as she presses him about whether he used a condom, he twice says he did, though he later insists again that they didn't have sex.

"I was just trying to sincerely help you that day, OK? OK. Anything else that happened, anything that you remembered happened, it wasn't done intentionally. It wasn't done to hurt you," he says at another point.

On the stand Friday, she remained composed as one of the defense attorneys played recordings of those taped conversations between Moreno and his accuser.

Referring to the recordings, the defense attorney asked, "Do you know how many times Officer Moreno denied having sex with you?"

She responded no.

The defense attorney responded, "24 sound right?"

"I don't wish to comment on her credibility. That's for the jury to decide. The fact of the matter is there was testimony that she was doing things, that she was saying things, videotaped evidence - and she has absolutely no recollection of it," Moreno's lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, said outside court.

She will be back on the stand on Monday.

Mata and Moreno have been suspended until a Police Department review after their trial. If convicted of rape, the officers could face up to 25 years in prison.