Actor Esai Morales Cleared of Rape Allegations

NYPD Blue actor Esai Morales has been cleared of an allegation that he raped his ex-girlfriend, Elizabeth Mazzocchi. I'm glad. I like him.

I read about the allegations for the first time today, although his girlfriend held a news conference (transcript here)in December to accuse him publicly and she had (who else?) Gloria Allred file a civil suit against him. Allred since dropped out and Mazzocchi has new lawyers.

In the complaint filed by Allred, available here(pdf), Mazzocchi says Morales began physically abusing her in April, 2006 about a month after they moved in together. She says he raped her on May 19, 2006. She continued to live with him for months after that. She also claims he gave her a s.t. disease.

I spent several hours with Esai in New York taping a Montel Williams at the beginning of May, 2006. I wrote a long post about it at the time. At the end of the day, as we were leaving, a very pretty woman came up and he introduced her as his girlfriend. They seemed really happy. [More...]

The three of us chatted on the sidewalk for several minutes after the show. They told me they lived in California. I can't find a picture of her anywhere on the Internet, so I can't say for sure it's the same woman, but logic would dictate it is.

Given the interaction and the affection between them that day, I'm really shocked at her allegations. They seem really out of character. I'm glad he's been cleared.

< Ohio, Hillary, the Rural Vote and November | Primary Number Crunching >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    He's also on Jericho (none / 0) (#1)
    by Kathy on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 09:22:00 PM EST
    as an Army captain who is onto the bad guys.

    How weird the AP is, apologizing for naming her... (none / 0) (#2)
    by jerry on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 10:32:58 PM EST
    The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted, but Mazzocchi has been very public with her allegations, including the holding of a news conference to detail accusations against Morales.

    If Morales was cleared, I think it's reasonable to say she falsely accused him.  Yet the AP apologizes for naming her, although they had no problem reporting his name and the accusations.

    In fact (none / 0) (#3)
    by Steve M on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 11:08:44 PM EST
    Failure to prove an allegation beyond a reasonable doubt does not mean it was a false allegation.

    You're right.... (none / 0) (#7)
    by jerry on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 11:53:07 PM EST
    I wasn't thinking that all the way through.

    you only need probable cause (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 12:31:42 AM EST
    to charge, you need reasonable doubt to convict. They declined to charge.  Probable cause is the equivalent of a reasonable belief that a crime was committed and it was committed by a specific person.

    Since there's no doubt as to identity, there was an issue as to whether there was even a reasonable belief that a rape occurred.

    That being said, a prosecutor may and should refuse to bring charges if she or he believes a case cannot be proven to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

    I haven't seen that as the reason for not filing in news reports today, although I didn't read every one of them.


    Alas (none / 0) (#4)
    by Foxx on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 11:09:53 PM EST
    how nice someone seems and how happy the couple seems tells you nothing about how they are in private.

    of course that's true (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 11:15:01 PM EST
    but he's been cleared by the police who investigated. They declined to even file charges.

    hmm, i want to see these laws used for (none / 0) (#6)
    by hellothere on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 11:20:36 PM EST
    victims that need them not those wanting to gain money later through civil court. i don't know if that is the case here. like i saw above, one never knows what goes on behind closed doors.

    that gloria allred, (none / 0) (#9)
    by cpinva on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 04:32:00 AM EST
    no shrinking violet, dropped out of the case is a clue as to its substance.

    perhaps mr. morales should consider filing a defamation suit against ms. mazzocchi, since she basically just dragged his name through the mud.

    nice gal. i'm sure it'll turn out that she has unresolved "issues" which make her not responsible for her own actions.

    Many, many (none / 0) (#10)
    by Lil on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:14:49 AM EST
    perpetrators and batterers are nice most of the time. It's those few minutes of control unseen by everyone else that is not.  Most folks are shocked when they find out about someone's abusive behavior, because they seemed like "such a nice guy".  That said, as a fan, I hope Morales didn't. But the fact that he's likable...I don't know about that being relevant.

    What are the facts? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Lora on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:09:54 PM EST
    If there is no hard evidence, it doesn't mean it didn't happen, and it doesn't mean it did.  I hope he didn't do it either.

    whatever they were (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:42:45 PM EST
    they were investigated and no charges were brought. Criminal investigations take place in private. Trials take place in public.

    An allegation is just that, an allegation. Looks like that's all that's in the public domain.


    Remember the movie "Bad Boys?" (none / 0) (#13)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:08:00 PM EST
    Esai's character rapes Sean Penn's character's girlfriend in order to 1) exact some revenge against Penn's character for his killing Esai's little bro in a car accident, and 2) to get himself thrown in the same prison as Penn so he can kill Penn himself.

    Completely engrossing movie. Stark and spare, very little dialogue.

    False Rape Allegations (none / 0) (#14)
    by Olde Pharte on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:06:56 PM EST
    How many men are going to have to expend vast amounts of personal money on legal representation before courts take False Accusations seriously? Have we not seen enough incidents of False Rape in the news of late to come to realize it truly does happen, and it happens a lot more than is generally recognized by the public at large? Cathleen Crowell sent Gary Dotson to jail for a decade, Gemma Gregory in the UK cried "RAPE!!!" 8 times before she was caught, Karyn Galila, Tamara Anne Moonier and now Elizabeth Mazzocchi. We all know the names Crystal Gail Mangum (Duke Lacrosse Debacle that dethroned Mike Nifong) and the infamous Tawana Brawley case. The Central Park Jogger (conceding that was indeed attacked) sent 5 innocent (of that crime) young men to jail.
    Look at the DNA exonerations for wrongfully convicted (ie INNOPCENT) men Falsely Accused of 'rape'.
    How many hundreds of innocent men are an acceptable Sacrifice at the Altar of Social Outrage until False Accusations are recognized for the social outrage they are?
    Isn't it about time for a National Registry of False Accusers to track those whom would intentionally defame an innocent man or womans name?
    Olde Pharte