The New York, Central Park 5 have settled out of court for a reported $40 million dollars for the wrongful conviction of the brutal rape of a 28-year old female investment banker jogging in Central Park in 1989.
The Black and Hispanic young men ranged in age from 14-16 at the time they were convicted of the crime in 1990 and immediately labeled the “Central Park Five.”
All five defendants initially confessed to the crime only to later recant claiming law enforcement coerced them into making false statements. There was no further evidence presented in the case leading the young men to serve 7-13 years for a crime they didn’t commit.
In 2002 DNA evidence showed the crime was committed by a singular serial rapist murderer, Matias Reyes who later confessed. A New York Supreme Court judge later vacated the convictions freeing the Central Park 5.
The five men filed a civil rights lawsuit and sued in Federal court. Now, twenty-five-years later vindication is imminent as an out of court settlement for an estimated $40 million has been reached.
That equates to approximately $8 million a piece and though it won’t enable the young men to erase the horror of incarceration or time away from their loved ones, hopefully this will give them a fresh start towards a bright future.
The settlement still awaits approval from the city comptroller and Judge Deborah Batts of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.