Why were jurors in the trial of two NYPD officers accused of rape not convinced, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendants were guilty?
Legal experts tell DNA Info that lack of forensic evidence meant the case depended on the eyewitness account of an intoxicated woman.
In the trial of former cops Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata, who were found not guilty Thursday of raping a 27-year-old drunk woman in her East Village apartment, no semen or other physical evidence from them was recovered in her home or on her body. That forced the jury — a panel of seven men and five women — to decide whether to believe the woman as to what happened on Dec. 7, 2008.
With their verdict, the jury said her powerful and graphic testimony alone was not enough to convict Moreno, 43, and Mata, 29.
"The bottom line is over the last 10 years, peoples' expectations of a prosecutor is to always have some sort of scientific evidence," said defense attorney Arthur Aidala.
This sentiment is supported by statements from some of the jurors. Daily Intel has a helpful round up of some of the most illuminating comments.
"It came down to he said/she said," said juror Eric Casiano, 33, a security officer. "There were holes in his and her stories. The law says if you're not sure, if there is reasonable doubt, you have to say not guilty."
At least one juror also found the woman's testimony shaky.
"When her testimony was read back without her in the mix, it was much easier for us to see what she said,” Richard Schimenti said. “And it sounded like a construct from the prosecution."
WATCH East Villagers react to the verdict: