Take a good look at the man in the center and the man on the right. They are Kenneth Moreno (43) and Franklin Mata (29) two New York City Police Officers who raped an intoxicated woman in her home, after they were called by a taxi driver to ensure her safe arrival. On a night in December, 2008, Mata stood guard, while Moreno raped his victim. They were acquitted yesterday after trial by jury in a New York City courtroom. This is just another example of botched justice in a history of violent police abuses of the citizenry of this city.
According to CCTV recordings these enforcers of the law entered her home four different times in the same night. According to 911 tapes, they made false calls, impersonating a concerned stranger.
Moreno admits to serenading his victim with Bon Jovi, and “snuggling” with her on the bed.
They used their unchecked power as police officers to rape a woman in her home.
The idea that rape is a rare event, occurring beyond familiar places, dissociated from the ordinariness of the everyday is an illusion. In reality rape is not associated with risk, adventure or the unknown. Ninety-four percent of rapes and sexual assaults occur within fifty miles of the victim’s home. It frequently occurs in the home, often committed by those with whom the victim feels comfortable. Police call such offenders ‘known doers.’ Men who live in the victim’s house, relatives, or men with whom the victim has social contact constitute seventy-five percent of rapists. One in four female rape victims are raped in or around their own residence.
These representatives of the law used their “long arms” to restrain and violate a woman who was, ironically, returning home from celebrating a promotion at work. The violence is now extended as these abusers are acquitted of charges of rape. While they are stripped of their authority as police officer for reasons of “misconduct,” one gets the clear message that the problem was not the rape itself, but the fact that they were stupid enough to get caught. After acquittal, Moreno called the woman “mistaken and confused,” saying: “I’m glad it’s over, it’s a lesson and a win.”
A lesson in what exactly? And a win for whom?