Former police officer Kenneth Moreno
A former cop acquitted of raping an intoxicated fashion executive was sentenced Monday to a year in jail for official misconduct by a judge who called him a liar.
Kenneth Moreno was immediately hauled off in handcuffs as his 29-year-old accuser sobbed in the Manhattan courtroom.
Moreno's lawyer said his client is not afraid of jail.
"Ken is a very mentally tough guy. This pales in comparison to what he's been to," said Joseph Tacopina, referring to the trial that left Moreno's reputation in ruins. "With good time, he'll serve nine months."
The sentencing of Moreno's partner, Franklin Mata, was postponed until Wednesday because his lawyer was representing another client currently on trial in Brooklyn.
Before Moreno, 43, was marched out of the courtroom, he got an earful from Supreme Court Justice Gregory Carro, who accused him of tailoring his testimony to escape a rape charge.
"You have a duty to testify truthfully and it's clear you didn't," the judge said.
Carro also said cops are held to a higher standard and that Moreno's actions "ripped a gaping hole" in the fabric of society.
The judge also took aim at Tacopina's argument that Moreno was more of a "simpleton" than a sexual predator.
"Simpleton like a fox," Carro said.
Defense lawyers had feared the accuser might make a statement that could sway the judge. But she stayed mum through the proceeding and left - her face streaked with tears - after Moreno was sentenced.
The courtroom was packed with dozens of red-clad women who had come to support the accuser - and relatives of the two former cops.
During the nearly two-month trial, the woman - a Gap executive - gave graphic testimony about how she was roused from a drunken stupor when Moreno raped her from behind.
Prosecutors said Mata, 29, served as lookout while his partner violated the woman in her East Village apartment.
There was no DNA evidence to back up her story, and a jury acquitted the cops of rape and burglary. The panel convicted them of official misconduct for making repeated trips to her apartment without permission. Both have been fired from the NYPD.
In arguing for the maximum two-year sentence, prosecutor Coleen Balbert said Moreno "acted as though he was above the law."
Tacopina argued that his client has already lost his job and pension and accused prosecutors of hounding him because of their "inability to accept the jury's verdict."
Carro agreed that Moreno deserved some jail time, especially since the ex-cop admitted he spooned with the drunken woman at one point during the night.
"You were in bed with a naked intoxicated young woman. That is official misconduct," he said.