New York City has reached a $40 million settlement with five men whose convictions were overturned in the Central Park Jogger case.
The men, known as the Central Park Five, were accused of raping a woman who was jogging in Central Park in 1989.
The initial story was that a marauding band of youth in 1989 brutally beat and sexually assaulted a 28-year-old investment banker who liked to jog in the popular New York City park in the evenings. All five defendants, black and Hispanic men ages 14 to 16, were convicted in 1990 despite claims that authorities coerced them into making incriminating statements. They came to be known as the Central Park Five.
In 2002, a New York State Supreme Court judge vacated the young men’s convictions after DNA evidence showed the crime had been committed by one man, a convicted rapist and murderer named Matias Reyes. One of the men spent 13 years in prison before his release and the others spent seven years. The settlement, as relayed toThe New York Times by someone with knowledge of the agreement, roughly figures into $1 million for every year each plaintiff spent in prison.
The lawsuit accused NYPD and prosecutors of falsely arresting the teens, malicious prosecution and racially motivated conspiracy. The previous administration of Mayor Mike Bloomberg fought the suit, saying police and prosecutors acted in good faith.
The agreement still needs to be approved by the New York City comptroller and by a federal judge.
Hopefully these men can put the tragic events of the case behind them.
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