Central Park 5 to Settle Wrongful Conviction Suit for $40 Million

This comes 25 years after the crime and nearly 12 years after their exoneration.

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The five innocent African-American and Latino men known as the Central Park Five convicted as teens for savagely beating and raping a female investment banker as she jogged Central Park in April of 1989 have reached a $40 million settlement with the city.

The teens were accused of brutally beating and raping 28-year-old investment banker Trisha Meili as she jogged in Central Park. Though the teens—Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Kharey Wise and Raymond Santana—had been in the park, they say overzealous police coaxed them into making what the New York Daily News called "incriminating statements against themselves and each other."

After two trials, they were convicted in 1990. Richardson, McCray, Salaam, and Santana all served nearly seven years in prison, while Wise served close to 13. They were exonerated in 2002 after Matias Reyes offered a confession that was supported by DNA evidence. 

However, the Bloomberg administration refused to settle with the group, claiming that authorities shouldn't be held responsible because they acted "in good faith." Prior to be elected Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio promised that he would right the wrong if given the opportunity and power to do so.

As Gothamist notes, despite Reyes' conviction, Melli still believes the Central Park Five were involved in her attack.

[via New York Daily News, New York Times and Gothamist]

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