Central Park jogger case
|Date||April 19, 1989|
|Time||9–10 p.m. (EDT)|
|Duration||Approximately 1 hour|
|Location||Central Park, New York City, U.S.|
|Non-fatal injuries||Trisha Meili and eight others|
|Accused||Five teenagers indicted for rape of jogger and other charges; another was given a plea deal and pleaded guilty to assault; four other teenagers were indicted for assault and other charges related to attacks on other persons that night in the park.|
|Convicted||Five youths were tried in two trials for the rape of the female jogger (the 6th made a plea deal in 1991 for a lesser charge and had a lesser sentence). Four of the five in the Meili case were convicted in 1990 of rape, assault, and other charges; one of these was convicted of attempted murder; one was convicted on lesser charges but as an adult. The other five defendants pleaded guilty to assault before trial and received lesser sentences.|
|Verdict||Guilty; sentences ranged from 5–10 years for four juveniles, and 5–15 years for a 16 year old who was classified as an adult because of the violent nature of the crime.|
|Convictions||Four of the teenagers in the Meili case served between 6–7 years in juvenile facilities; one, sentenced as an adult, served 13 years. Four unsuccessfully appealed their convictions in 1991.|
After another man was identified as the rapist in 2002, these five convictions were vacated, and the state withdrew all charges against the men.
|Litigation||The five men sued the city for discrimination and emotional distress; the city settled in 2014 for $41 million. They also sued New York State, which settled in 2016 for $3.9 million total.|
The Central Park jogger case was a criminal case in the United States based on the assault and rape of Trisha Meili, a 28-year-old white woman who was jogging in the park, and attacks on eight other people, in areas ranging from the North Woods to the Reservoir of Manhattan's Central Park, on the night of April 19, 1989.
Three of the victims were black or Latino. Meili was so badly injured that she was in a coma for 12 days.
This case is also called the Central Park Five case because of the five suspects accused of rape. The Central Park jogger case famous because it reflects how racial minorities are treated unfairly in the American legal system.
Attacks[change | change source]
At 9 p.m. on April 19, 1989, a group of teenagers entered Central Park. They began to attack and rob other people in the park.
Victims[change | change source]
Patricia Eileen Meili was working at an investment bank at the time of the attack. She was living in the Upper East Side of New York City.
Arrests and investigation[change | change source]
Six people were indicted with rape, attempted murder, robbery, and causing a riot:
- Steve Lopez, 14,
- Antron McCray, 15,
- Kevin Richardson, 14,
- Yusef Salaam, 15,
- Raymond Santana, 14, and
- Korey Wise, 16.
Raymond Santana and Kevin Richardson were among the first suspects to be arrested.
On May 1, 1989, Donald Trump took out ads in New York City newspapers. In these ads, he said that the death penalty should be used again and called for the five suspects to be executed. Back then, the state of New York had stopped executing people.
The Supreme Court said in 1977 during the Coker v. Georgia case that people cannot be executed for committing rape. They knew that false rape accusations were used to kill black men or put them in jail.
Vacated convictions[change | change source]
The convictions of the five suspects were vacated after it was revealed that they were forced to confess.
Also, another man was identified as the rapist. His name was Matias Reyes.
The five men who were convicted sued the city. They got $40 million dollars in all, $1 million for each year they were behind bars. Trump said that the city should not have given them money and that the men didn't have "the pasts of angels."
Aftermath[change | change source]
Trisha Meili[change | change source]
Trisha Meili wrote a book about her experiences. It is called I Am the Central Park Jogger. She is now an inspirational speaker. She talks about sexual assault and brain injury.
Suspects[change | change source]
Antron McCray now lives in Georgia. He is married and has six kids.
Kevin Richardson lives in New Jersey. He is an activist who focuses on reforms in the criminal justice system.
Yusef Salaam lives in Georgia. He is an activist who focuses on reforms in the criminal justice system.
Raymond Santana also lives in Georgia. He is an activist who focuses on reforms in the criminal justice system.
Korey Wise lives in New York City. He changed his name from Karey. He is an activist who focuses on reforms in the criminal justice system.
Donald Trump[change | change source]
It has been claimed that the newspaper ads made Trump look racist. Trump is white, while the suspects were Black and Latino.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump said that the suspects were guilty.
Trump was later elected as the 45th President of the United States. He was president from 2017 to 2021. As of July 2020, he has never apologized for the newspaper ads.