U.S. News


'Central Park Five' Awarded $41 Million In Settlement

The five men wrongly accused of brutally beating and raping a New York City woman in 1989 have been awarded $41 million in a settlement with the city.
Posted at 7:39 PM, Sep 06, 2014

Twenty-five years after being found guilty of a crime they didn't commit, a federal judge approved a $41 million settlement to the Central Park Five.

The five men, who at the time were between the ages of 14 and 16, were accused of brutally beating and raping a woman jogging in New York City's Central Park .

They claimed they were coerced into making confessions after being interrogated by police for nearly 24 hours.

Four of the men spent nearly seven years in prison and one spent almost 13 years behind bars before another man confessed to the crime and DNA evidence connected him to the attack.

KEVIN RICHARDSON VIA THE NEW YORK TIMES: "You all don't really understand what we went through. You all tried to dehumanize us as human beings but we are still here."

This settlement awards each of these men approximately $1 million for each year spent in prison.  

Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement, "The city had a moral obligation to right this injustice — which is why, from day one, I vowed to settle the case."

Many media outlets, such as theNew York Post, agree that de Blasio's push to end the case stands in "stark contrast" to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's efforts to oppose a deal. 

But The New York Times writes the settlement still avoids deflecting any blame onto the city. It reads: “The City of New York has denied and continues to deny that it and the individually named defendants have committed any violations of law or engaged in any wrongful acts concerning or related to any allegations that were or could have been alleged.”

The group's lawyer, while happy with the settlement, disagrees that the investigators did nothing wrong. The New York Daily News quotes him saying, "There was significant evidence police coerced confessions of these children, and that law-enforcement and prosecutors withheld evidence that could have been helpful.”

The man who did commit the crime was already incarcerated for rape and murder at the time of his confession.