The five men who were wrongfully convicted over the 1989 rape of a white woman in Central Park are speaking out 30 years on from the event.
Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Kharey Wise were all teenagers when they falsely confessed to the brutal attack on 28-year-old investment banker, Trisha Meili, who was out jogging through the park.
Meili was bound, gagged, raped and almost beaten to death. She was found with her skull smashed in and more than 75 percent of her blood drained from her body.
The five youngsters – four black and one Hispanic – were promptly arrested and jailed for the crime, which exacerbated already explosive levels of racial tensions in New York City.
However, in 2002, DNA evidence exonerated the group before they subsequently sued the city and reached a $41 million settlement.
In a new interview with CBS, the men revealed how they have used that sum of money to rebuild their lives.
The five men falsely jailed over the 1989 rape of a white female jogger in Central Park have spoken with CBS 30 years on from the event
‘We were able to relocate, [and] put our children in better situations,’ Santana, now 44, stated.
However, he and the others added that the money had not lessened the lasting pain of their false imprisonment.
‘No amount of money could have given us our time back,’ Salaam, also 44, declared.
In the intimate interview, the group revealed they still think about their wrongful convictions constantly
‘Every day it’s probably my second or third thought,’ Salaam revealed.
‘Even our conversations is different. It’s not normal. Our conversations would be about prison, how we had to survive in prison,’ McCray, 44, added.
The men – Korey Wise, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, and Yusef Salaam – received a $41 million settlement from New York City in 2014
The group’s imprisonment came after they confessed to the chilling crime following hours of police interrogations. Salaam (left) and Santana (right) are pictured after their arrest
From left to right: Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise confessed to the chilling crime after hours of police interrogations. They later recanted but their original statements were admitted at trial
The group’s imprisonment came after they confessed to the chilling crime following hours of police interrogations.
They later recanted their confessions, which they said were forced by police but their original statements were admitted at trial.
Media demonized the black and Hispanic youths, describing them as a ‘Wolf Pack’.
Although he didn’t directly accuse the five boys of committing the crime, Donald Trump spent $85,000 placing full-page ads in newspapers calling for the return of the death penalty shortly after they were arrested.
They were convicted in 1990 and spent between seven to 13 years in prison, before serial rapist Matias Reyes confessed to the crime.
Thirty years on from the event, a new Netflix miniseries by Oscar-nominee Ava DuVernay reexamines the Central Park Five in a more sensitive light.
Media demonized the black and Hispanic youths, describing them as a ‘Wolf Pack’
The brutal attack and the subsequent arrest of five colored youths exacerbated explosive racial tensions in New York City
Donald Trump spent $85,000 placing full-page ads in newspapers calling for the return of the death penalty shortly after the boys were arrested
Oscar-nominee Ava DuVernay (pictured) says she hopes her her new Netflix miniseries helps humanize the Central Park Five
‘My goal was to humanize boys and now men who are widely regarded as criminals,. And in doing that, to invite the audience to re-interrogate everyone that they define as a criminal, DuVernay told CBS.
She continued: ‘I’m asking the question to everyone, ‘What do you see when you see black boys?’ And that’s a painful answer, because I know what the answer is for many people.
‘It’s exactly what these boys were called: wolf pack, animals, criminals, so much so that they could be tossed aside on a case that was made from a complete lie.’
The series premieres on Netflix May 31.
Trisha Meili was 28 years old when she was brutally beaten and raped while jogging in Central Park. She managed to survive the attack and is pictured in 2003
A supporter of the Central Park 5 is seen at a protest in 2002