NYC Reaches $40 Million Settlement With Central Park Five

Image: NYC Reaches $40 Million Settlement With Central Park Five Three of the five men documented by the film "The Central Park Five" left to right, Raymond Santana, Yusef Salaam, and Kevin Richardson.

Friday, 20 Jun 2014 07:24 AM

By Cathy Burke

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New York City has reached a $40 million agreement with five men wrongly convicted of the beating and rape of a Central Park jogger in 1989, The New York Times reported,
citing a person told about the terms of the confidential deal that the paper didn't identify.

The accord was reached between the city’s Law Department and the so-called "Central Park Five," bringing an end to a long legal battle over a case of supposedly "wilding" youths who attacked 28-year-old investment banker Trisha Meili as she took a run in the park.

The pact still needs the approval of the city comptroller followed by a federal judge, the Times reported.

The convictions of Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Kharey Wisemen's – who were 14 to 16 years old when they were arrested – were tossed in 2002 after convicted rapist and murderer Matias Reyes told authorities he alone attacked Meili. DNA tests confirmed he sexually assaulted her, the Times said.

A year later, the five men filed a civil rights lawsuit charging police forced their confessions with threats and beatings and ignored the DNA evidence that would have cleared them.

The case was battled by city lawyers for 10 years under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, arguing authorities had acted in good faith and didn't owe the men any damages.

Bloomberg's successor as mayor, Bill de Blasio, announced in December the city would "settle the Central Park Five case because a huge injustice was done." The Wall Street Journal estimated in March the settlement would cost "tens of millions of dollars" based on similar cases.

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