$41-million settlement in ‘Central Park Five’ case gets final approval
A federal judge approved a $41-million settlement Friday for five black and Latino men who were wrongly accused in the brutal rape and beating of a Central Park jogger in 1989.
While admitting no wrongdoing, the city will make the payouts to Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana Jr., Yusef Salaam and Korey Wise, each of whom served between six and 13 years in prison after the vicious attack captivated the media during a time when New York City was rife with crime and violence.
Eventually, admitted serial rapist Matias Reyes told police he committed the assault, and DNA evidence confirmed the claim.
McCray, Richardson, Santana Jr. and Salaam will each receive $7,125,000, according to court records, and Wise will be paid $12,250,000. Each defendant was to be paid roughly $1 million for each year they were wrongly imprisoned, according to the terms of the settlement.
The five filed a federal lawsuit in 2003, a year after their convictions were overturned, claiming police coerced their confessions. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration fought the legal challenge for years, but freshman mayor Bill de Blasio has championed the men’s case.
“This settlement is an act of justice for those five men that is long overdue. The city had a moral obligation to right this injustice — which is why, from Day One, I vowed to settle this case,” de Blasio said in a statement.
Calls to plaintiffs’ attorney Jonathan Moore were not immediately returned Friday, but he previously said the sizable settlement serves as an acknowledgment of wrongdoing on behalf of the city.
“It’s an amount that is significant enough that it represents an admission the city did something wrong,” Moore told The Times last month.
Times Staff Writer Tina Susman contributed to this report.
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