2 Teens Guilty in Central Park ‘Wilding’ Case
After 12 days of deliberation, the jury in the second Central Park jogger rape and assault trial found the two teen-age defendants guilty--one on all eight counts, including attempted murder, and the other on the lesser counts of assault and sexual abuse.
Kevin Richardson, 16, was convicted of attempted murder, rape, sodomy, robbery, assault and riot. Richardson, who was a juvenile when arrested, faces a maximum of five to 10 years in prison.
Kharey Wise, 18, who said in a videotape confession that this was his first rape, was also convicted of assault but cleared of 10 of the 13 counts against him in the attack. Because Wise faces sentencing as an adult, he could receive five to 15 years.
The trial was the second in the 1989 attack on a female jogger caught in a youthful rampage that came to be called “wilding.”
As the verdicts were read, the two defendants wept and hugged each other and pandemonium erupted in the courtroom.
A loud moaning went up from the section where Richardson’s family sat. Richardson’s mother, Grace Cuffey, fainted.
As Wise was led from the courtroom in handcuffs, he turned to prosecutor Elizabeth Lederer and snarled, “You’re going to pay for this. Jesus is going to get you. You made this . . . up.”
“He didn’t do that! He could never hurt anybody,” screamed Cuffey. “Oh Lord.”
In the first trial, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam and Raymond Santana, all 16, were convicted Aug. 18 of rape, assault and other charges. All were sentenced in September to five to 10 years in prison.
Steven Lopez, 16, is the last to face charges in connection with the assaults. His trial is scheduled for early next year.
The victim of the April 19, 1988, attack was found comatose, muddy and bloody in a ravine below a Central Park jogging path around 1:30 a.m., about four hours after the attack. The nearly dead woman lost three-fourths of her blood; her skull was broken, her left cheekbone crushed, and she had cuts, scratches and bruises all over her body.