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Episode 762

Central Park jogger case
Tue, 2019-Jun-04 02:03 UTC
Length - 3:26

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Welcome to popular Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of a popular Wikipedia page every day.

With 455,565 views on Monday, 3 June 2019 our article of the day is Central Park jogger case.

The Central Park jogger case was a criminal case that involved the assault and rape of Trisha Meili, a white female jogger, and attacks on others in the North Woods of Manhattan's Central Park on the night of April 19, 1989. The attack on the jogger left her in a coma for 12 days. Meili was a 28-year-old investment banker at the time. According to The New York Times, the attack was "one of the most widely publicized crimes of the 1980s". On the night of the attack, five juvenile males—four African American and one Hispanic—were apprehended in connection with a number of attacks in Central Park committed by around 30 teenage perpetrators. The defendants were tried variously for assault, robbery, riot, rape, sexual abuse, and attempted murder relating to Meili's and other attacks in the park, based solely on confessions that they said were coerced and false. Before the trial, the FBI tested the DNA of the rape kit and found it did not match to any of the tested suspects. The office of District Attorney Robert Morgenthau presented these findings to the press as "inconclusive". They were convicted in 1990 by juries in two separate trials. Subsequently, known as the Central Park Five, they received sentences ranging from 5 to 15 years. Four of the convictions were appealed and the convictions were affirmed by appellate courts. The defendants spent between 6 and 13 years in prison.

In 2002, Matias Reyes, a convicted murderer and serial rapist in prison, confessed to raping the jogger. DNA evidence confirmed his guilt, and he knew facts about the crime that only the offender could have known. He also said he committed the rape alone. At the time of his confession, Reyes was already serving a life sentence. He was not prosecuted for raping Meili, because the statute of limitations had passed by the time he confessed. Morgenthau suggested to the court that the five men's convictions related to the assault and rape of Meili and to attacks on others to which they had confessed be vacated (a legal position in which the parties are treated as though no trial has taken place) and withdrew the charges. Their convictions were vacated in 2002.

The five convicted men sued New York City in 2003 for malicious prosecution, racial discrimination, and emotional distress. The city refused to settle the suits for a decade under then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, because the city's lawyers felt they would win. However, after Bill de Blasio became mayor and supported the settlement, the city settled the case for $41 million in 2014. As of December 2014, the five men were pursuing an additional $52 million in damages from New York State in the New York Court of Claims.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 02:03 UTC on Tuesday, 4 June 2019.

For the full current version of the article, see Central Park jogger case on Wikipedia.

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