partlycloudy
Sunday July 5th, 2015 8:58PM

$40M settlement reported in Central Park rape case

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
NEW YORK (AP) -- All but closing the books on one of the most lurid crime cases in New York history, the city has agreed to a $40 million settlement with five men who were falsely convicted in the vicious 1989 rape and beating of a Central Park jogger, a city official said Friday.<br /> <br /> The official had direct knowledge of the agreement but wasn't allowed to discuss it publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. City Comptroller Scott Stringer confirmed that a settlement had been reached but would not disclose the amount except to say that the $40 million figure was "in the ballpark."<br /> <br /> The deal still needs final approval from the comptroller and a federal judge.<br /> <br /> The five black and Hispanic defendants were found guilty as teenagers in 1990 in the attack on a white woman - an investment banker - who had gone for a run in the park.<br /> <br /> With New York awash in murder and drugs at the time, the crime was seen as a terrifying symbol of the city's racial and class divide and evidence that it was sliding into lawlessness. The case gave rise to the term "wilding" for urban mayhem by marauding teenagers.<br /> <br /> The defendants served six to 13 years in prison before their convictions were thrown out in 2002 because of evidence that someone else, acting alone, committed the crime. The five brought a $250 million civil rights lawsuit against police and prosecutors.<br /> <br /> Civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton said in a statement that the tentative settlement signifies "a monumental victory" for the men and their families.<br /> <br /> "It is also a victory for those in the community that stood with them from day one and believed in their innocence in this case," Sharpton said. "As supporters, we were viciously attacked for standing with them, but we were on the right side of history."<br /> <br /> The victim, Trisha Meili, then 28, was found in the brush, more than 75 percent of her blood drained from her body and her skull smashed. She was in a coma for 12 days, suffered permanent damage and remembers nothing about the attack.<br /> <br /> Raymond Santana and Kevin Richardson, both 14 at the time, Antron McCray and Yusef Salaam, 15, and Korey Wise, 16, were rounded up and arrested. After hours of interrogation, four of them gave confessions on video.<br /> <br /> At the trials, their lawyers argued the confessions were coerced. At the time, DNA testing was not sophisticated enough to make or break the case.<br /> <br /> In 2002, a re-examination of the case found that DNA on the victim's sock pointed to Matias Reyes, a murderer and serial rapist who confessed that he alone attacked the jogger.<br /> <br /> Then-District Attorney Robert Morgenthau stopped short of declaring the five innocent but withdrew all charges and did not seek a retrial. The statute of limitations for charging Reyes had run out; he is serving a life sentence for other crimes.<br /> <br /> The case that stood as symbol of urban lawlessness became instead an example of a colossal breakdown in the legal system.<br /> <br /> Jonathan C. Moore, a lawyer for the five men, declined to comment.<br /> <br /> Andrew G. Celli, a lawyer who represented documentary filmmakers and others with an interest the case, welcomed news of a settlement.<br /> <br /> "A settlement this large, this dynamic, will have an impact," he said. "It will cause police and prosecutors to think a bit more carefully about the ramifications of a particular investigation."<br /> <br /> The AP does not usually identify victims of sexual assault, but Meili went public as a motivational speaker and wrote a book.<br /> <br /> While the five men have been exonerated, some troubling questions persist: The two doctors who treated Meili after the attack said in recent interviews with The Wall Street Journal that some of her wounds were not consistent with Reyes' account.<br /> <br /> The doctors said that should call into question Reyes' claim that he acted alone.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 6 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 6 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 6 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 6 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 6 months ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 6 months ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 6 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 6 months ago )
Politics
Man shoots off firework from top of his head, dies instantly
CALAIS, Maine (AP) — A 22-year-old man who was drinking and celebrating the Fourth of July tried to launch a firework off the top of his head, killing him instantly, authorities said Sunday.Devon Stap...
8:41PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Greece enters uncharted territory after referendum 'no' vote
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece lurched into uncharted territory and an uncertain future in Europe's common currency Sunday after voters overwhelmingly rejected demands by international creditors for mor...
8:09PM ( 48 minutes ago )
Back at work: Congress facing busy agenda, funding deadline
WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of Congress return from July Fourth fireworks and parades Tuesday facing a daunting summer workload and an impending deadline to fund the government or risk a shutdown in the...
3:02PM ( 5 hours ago )
Obama: Freedom is paid for by men and women of US military
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says U.S. service members make it possible to enjoy the "incredible blessings" in the greatest country on earth.He says "freedom is not free" but is paid for b...
12:45AM ( 20 hours ago )
At least 14 hurt in deck collapse at North Carolina beach
EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (AP) — A deck collapsed at a North Carolina beach house as a family got set to take a group photo Saturday evening, leaving at least 14 people injured with two of those in critical...
11:58PM ( 21 hours ago )