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 (Simon Luethi / Sundance Selects)
(Simon Luethi / Sundance Selects)

Donald Trump indicated this week that he still believes the five teenage boys exonerated after being convicted in the brutal 1989 assault of a Central Park jogger are guilty.

The case against the men, all minorities, and the rape that left the victim, who is white, in a coma, transfixed a nation reeling from rising big-city crime rates.

At the time, Trump took out full-page ads in the New York newspapers calling to "bring back the death penalty" and said the "murderers" should "suffer."

But the boys said their confession was coerced, and in 2002, another man, serial rapist Matias Reyes confessed to the assault. His DNA matched evidence from the crime scene.

Trump told CNN this week he wasn't buying it.

"They admitted they were guilty," Trump said in a statement to CNN's Miguel Marquez. "The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous. And the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same."

The five had all been convicted on various charges and spent between six and 13 years in prison. In 2014, a federal judge approved a $41 million settlement for their wrongful conviction.

Trump quickly called the settlement a "disgrace."

One of the men, Raymond Santana, dismissed Trump's statement at the time as a "pathetic" attempt to seek publicity.

"I kind of feel sorry for him," Santana said.

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