Manhattan district attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau, has
decided to call today for the dismissal of the convictions
of five men (Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam,
Raymond Santana and Kharey Wise) in the 1989 Central Park
jogger case, including all charges that they participated
in a gang rape and a rampage of muggings, according to
two law enforcement officials who have read the legal
years ago, on April 19, one of the most infamous crimes
in New York City history unfolded. The case dubbed “Wilding”
was a sex attack on a 28 year old, female, investment
banker who was jogging through the Upper West Side of
Central Park when she was attacked, raped, and, apparently,
left for dead. However, while the American public believed
that this case
ended when the five teenage boys charged in the case,
Yusef Salaam, Kharey Wise, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana,
and Kevin Richardson, were convicted; this is, in actuality,
where the story begins.
The five teens were charged with a group attack on the
victim in 1989. Four of the boys confessed, on videotape,
to the crime and signed statements to the same effect.
The boys, the youngest 14 years old, were each sent to
various criminal facilities. They each grew up to be men
in jail serving time for their crime. Yet, in January
2001, a serial sex attacker and murderer came forward,
while in jail for another crime, and confessed to the
crime that had kept these four, now men, from freedom.
This man, Matias Reyes, had raped and killed a pregnant
woman in the presence of her young children and was, at
the time of his confession, serving 33 1/3 years in prison.
He confessed he said, “because this was what God
wanted [him] to do.” This new turn in the case has
sent shockwaves through the legal community.
Many people in support of the 5 men were outraged and
upset at their wrongful imprisonment. The case has now
prompted a new law to be enforced in the police departments
“This law will make not only confessions be videotaped,
but the police interrogation as well,” says New
York City Council Man Bill Perkins. “We need this
to ensure the safety of the members of our community.”
Councilman Perkins lives in the apartment building in
which two of the suspects, Raymond Santana and Kharey
Wise, grew up. Currently, Kharey Wise still lives there.
An interview with the Councilman allowed Harlem Live to
learn what steps are being taken to prevent this from
happening again. “We hope this new legislation will
be what we need to keep something like this from happening
again,” he said.
The admittance of Matias Reyes has served to provide a
domino effect on the aspects of the case that, in 1989,
succeeded in putting these men behind bars. After Reyes
confession, his DNA was taken. An aspect of the original
case, that was never resolved, was the fact that the DNA
on the victim didn’t match the DNA of any of the
five suspects. However, the DNA of Reyes that was taken
matched the substances found on the jogger.
The Manhattan DA’s office is, now, going back in
time. They are going back to the point where the case
fell apart. They have to review the interrogations, the
confessions, the facts, and the diagrams of the scene
of the crime. Yet they still seem to feel that though
the five suspects, who now are being regarded by some
as victims, may be innocent of the rape, they may be guilty
of any of the other attacks on bikers or joggers that
night in Central Park. In addition to the rape of the
jogger approximately 30 other people were victimized in
the Park that night.
The five men have all been released from their respective
facilities. The families have issued statements and the
public has reacted. However, while this goes on, what
was regarded as one of the most heinous crimes in New
York City, may now go down in history as one a farce manufactured
by the, now notorious, New York “Justice”
System. To many, the justice was lost.
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