NEW YORK (April 28) - A police officer called to help a drunken woman get home safely instead raped her as she lay semiconscious and facedown in her bed while his partner acted as a lookout, prosecutors alleged Tuesday.Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata were suspended from duty and pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of rape, burglary and official misconduct in the Dec. 6 incident in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan.The officers were held on $175,000 bail, which both later posted. Their attorneys disputed the woman's version of the events.Moreno is "prepared to fight these charges every step of the way," said his attorney, Stephen Worth. Mata's attorney, Edward Mandery, said it wasn't a crime for his client to be seen at the location and believes the woman, who had vomited repeatedly, was so drunk she doesn't know what happened.New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who rarely speaks on pending cases involving officers because he may have to make internal decisions, called the allegations "disgraceful" and said he does not want the charges to tarnish the department's reputation for helping people.
"This is a shocking aberration in stark contrast to the outstanding work that the men and women of the New York City police department do every day on the streets of our city," Kelly said. "The public needs to know that the police are there to protect them. And I believe that they do."