At his rape trial, New York City officer says he's a gentleman

NEW YORK Wed May 11, 2011 3:30pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York City police officer accused of raping a woman testified on Wednesday that he did not tell his partner about her accusations because he's a discrete gentleman.

"I don't kiss and tell. I have a reputation of not saying (anything)," Kenneth Moreno said when asked by prosecutors why he did not immediately tell his partner, Franklin Mata, about a conversation with the victim that he later found was secretly taped.

In that conversation, played repeatedly in the trial at state Supreme Court in Manhattan, Moreno acknowledges having worn a condom but insists several times that nothing occurred between the 29-year-old woman and him.

Moreno, 43, and Mata, 29, were arrested in April 2009 after the woman, a fashion executive, covertly taped the conversation using a watch equipped with a microphone.

Both officers face charges of rape, burglary and misconduct stemming from the December 2008 incident.

Moreno told the jury on Wednesday that he thought the victim was confused about the night's events.

"I actually thought maybe something happened to her when I was not with her," he said. "She was confused."

Last week, Mata testified that he fell asleep on the woman's living room sofa while she and Moreno were in her bedroom.

Prosecutors say Moreno and Mata responded to a 911 call from a cab driver who said his fare was too drunk to get out of his taxi, and the pair escorted the woman to her apartment.

The two officers left but returned a few hours later in response to another 911 call, which Moreno has admitted he faked, and then returned twice after that.

On Monday, Moreno testified he made the bogus 911 call so he and his fellow officer could return to the victim's apartment. He said he was trying to help the victim with her drinking problem because he previously abused alcohol himself after being upset over the September 11, 2001 attacks and a custody battle over his daughter.

He admitted getting into bed with the victim but denied raping her.

The officers face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

(Reporting by Bernd Debusmann Jr.; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Jerry Norton)

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