A former stripper who is accused of illegally recording a conversation with two Chicago police internal affairs detectives cried on the witness stand Tuesday as she admitted being mad at the time because she thought her sexual harassment complaint wasn’t being taken seriously.

Tiawanda Moore, 20, is charged with two felony counts of eavesdropping on a public official for allegedly recording a four-minute portion of the Aug. 18, 2010, interview on her BlackBerry, which she had hidden in her lap.

Moore, of Hammond, Ind., was being interviewed at police headquarters about her complaint that a patrol officer had grabbed her breast and given her his phone number when he came to her boyfriend’s South Side apartment on a domestic disturbance call.

On the muffled recording, which was played for the jury Tuesday, Internal Affairs Officer Luis Alejo can be heard explaining to Moore that if she dropped the complaint, they could “almost guarantee” that the harassment would not happen again. He also suggested that going that route might save her the time and aggravation of a full investigation.

Alejo testified that while she was filling out her sworn statement, he and his partner, Sgt. Richard Plotke, briefly left the interview room. When he came back, Alejo said he “saw a BlackBerry with wave bars activated between Tiawanda Moore’s legs.”

Moore denied recording any of their conversation, but was arrested after police obtained a search warrant for the phone and found the file on the memory card.

Dressed in a brown leather jacket, white pants and black glasses, Moore testified in a soft but hurried tone that she was upset when the officers started talking about “other options.”

“Is that when you decided to turn on your tape recorder?” asked Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Jo Murtaugh.

“Yes,” Moore replied, her voice squeaky with tears.

Moore denied prosecution claims that she was wavering on whether she wanted to file a formal complaint, which required signing a sworn affidavit.

“I was sure about what I wanted to do –I wanted him (the officer) to be at least fired from his job,” Moore testified. “I wanted justice, I wanted to be protected.”

Under Illinois’ eavesdropping law, making an audio recording a law enforcement officer or court official without the consent of all parties is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The law does provide an exception allowing citizens to obtain evidence through a recording device if they have a “reasonable suspicion” that a crime is about to be committed.

The case against Moore has caught the attention of civil libertarians who believe the law is unconstitutional. Earlier this month, a group called the Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls and Young Women submitted a petition with more than 3,000 signatures demanding that Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez drop the charges.

The ACLU also filed two recent lawsuits challenging the law, but both have been thrown out of federal court.

At the time of her arrest, Moore worked as a stripper at The Factory Gentleman’s Club on the Far South Side, records show. She has a history of domestic violence, and her boyfriend, Marcus Galimore, has been granted four emergency orders of protection against her since 2009, records show.

Both officers took the stand today and denied pressuring Moore.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Wednesday.

jmeisner@tribune.com