Last month's not-guilty verdict in the NYPD rape case -- in which on-duty police officer Kenneth Moreno was accused of raping a very drunk woman he was called to assist -- was shocking. There seemed to be a preponderance of evidence against him, including a phone call in which he admitted to using a condom. Experts posited that since there was no DNA evidence available, the jury had succumbed to the "CSI effect" -- the concept that modern juries are so influenced by CSI and other forensic evidence television shows, that they may not believe a defendant is guilty unless hard DNA evidence is produced.
Well, they might have been right. Gothamist reports that DNAinfo spoke with the two women jurors in the NYPD rape case, and their comments are stunning.
"In my heart of hearts, I believe her that the officers did it," juror Melinda Hernandez says. Not to be outdone, another female juror says she's certain they were guilty.
"[Kenneth Moreno] raped her," the unidentified female juror tells DNAinfo. "There is no doubt in my mind."But never mind that whole "beyond a reasonable doubt" business, today's modern jury demands DNA. As juror John Finck, 57, explains, "We were strictly bound by the judge's instruction that there must be evidence beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict the defendants of the major charges of the case."
Horrific. Both female jurors expressed dismay and heartbreak at the verdict, but felt they were bound by the lack of DNA evidence.
Moreno and his partner, Franklin Mata, have been dismissed from the NYPD, but thanks to the "CSI effect," they're still out on the streets. However, they could still do time for official misconduct charges, which will be deliberated by a judge. Read the full story at DNA Info.