"Central Park 5" to Settle Suit for $40 Million: AP - NBC New York

"Central Park 5" to Settle Suit for $40 Million: AP



    "Central Park 5" to Settle Suit for $40 Million

    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. Lori Bordonaro reports. (Published Friday, June 20, 2014)

    The five black and Latino men who spent years in prison after being convicted in 1990 of raping and beating a white woman in Central Park will receive a $40 million settlement in a lawsuit they filed after their convictions were tossed out, the Associated Press is reporting.

    The men, who each served six to 13 years in prison, filed a $250 million federal lawsuit against the city 10 years ago after their sentences were vacated. 

    The attack on a 28-year-old investment banker occurred in April 1989, when she was found in the park after being beaten and raped while jogging. She was in a coma for 12 days and was left with permanent brain damage.

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    The men were exonerated in 2002 after a man already jailed for other crimes confessed, and DNA evidence supported his claim.

    The confidential deal, was first disclosed to the New York Times by a person who is a not a party in the lawsuit, must still be approved by the city comptroller and then by a federal judge. 

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    "We will do our due diligence and provide feedback to ensure that any settlement we approve is in the best interests of the city," Eric Sumberg, a spokesman for the comptroller's office, said in a statement. 

    The proposed settlement averages roughly $1 million for each year of imprisonment for the men, according to the Times. Kharey Wise spent about 13 years in prison, and Kevin Richardson, Anton McCray, Yusef Salaam and Raymond Santana Jr. each served about seven years in prison. 

    Santana has said his years in prison have left him behind as he's tried to build a normal life. 

    A New York City Law Department spokeswoman declined comment to NBC 4 New York. An attorney for the plaintiffs, has noted that Mayor de Blasio had previously announced that he believes the case should be settled. 

    Community leaders and personalities have already begun praising the settlement. The Rev. Al Sharpton commended de Blasio for working to seek a fair settlement, but said that the permanent damage by the imprisonment shouldn't be downplayed.

    "One should not underestimate the permanent damage by the misuse of prosecution," Sharpton said. "Lives were devastated, families torn apart, youth stolen."

    Initial reports of the crime included shocking allegations of violence and brutality, and polarized the city as they stirred racial tensions. 

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