Donald Trump this week continued his longtime assertion that the "Central Park Five" were guilty of the brutal 1989 rape of a banker while jogging, despite being exonerated by DNA evidence more than a decade later.
"They admitted they were guilty," the Republican presidential candidate told CNN in a statement on Thursday.
"The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty," he said. "The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous.
"And the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same," Trump said.
In 1989, a 28-year-old white female who had been jogging in Central Park at night was raped and beaten with a rock before she was found hours later.
She had been stripped, tied, and suffering from hypothermia and brain damage.
No one witnessed the attack.
Five teenage boys, four black and one Hispanic, were arrested and charged after police said they confessed to the attack.
They were in the park at the time — and they had been questioned for two days, pointing the finger at each other while not admitting to the crime.
Two weeks after the attack, Trump took out full-age ads in four New York City newspapers under the headline: "Bring Back the Death Penalty. Bring Back Our Police!"
He did not specifically call for the youths to be executed, though he made clear that "wilding" teens engaged in such crimes should be punished severely.
In 2002, another man, a convicted rapist and murderer, confessed to the attack — and the five were later cleared by DNA evidence.
New York paid the "Central Park Five" a $41 million settlement in 2014. Trump also opposed the payout, which had been held up for years by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
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