Roaming Charges: Scene of the Crimes
Jeffrey St. Clair
|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 male teenagers indicted for raping a woman 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 male youths were tried in two trials for the rape and violent assault of Trisha Meili whilst she was on a evening jog (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 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 (events also referenced as the Central Park Five case) was a criminal case in the United States over the aggravated assault and rape of a white woman in Manhattan's Central Park on April 19, 1989, occurring during a string of other attacks in the park the same night. Five black and Latino youths were falsely convicted of assaulting the woman, and served sentences ranging from six to twelve years. All were later exonerated after a prison inmate confessed to the crime in 2002.
From the outset the case was a topic of national interest, with the commentary on social issues evolving as the details emerged. Initially, the case led to public discourse about New York City's perceived lawlessness, criminal behavior by youths, and violence toward women. After the exonerations, it became a high-profile example of racial profiling, discrimination, and inequality in the media and legal system. All five defendants subsequently sued the City of New York for malicious prosecution, racial discrimination and emotional distress; the City settled the suit in 2014 for $41 million.
- "The Jogger and the Wolf Pack". The New York Times. April 26, 1989. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
- Foderaro, Lisa W. (May 1, 1989). "Angered by Attack, Trump Urges Return Of the Death Penalty". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
- Chancer, Lynn (August 2005). "Before and After the Central Park Jogger: When legal cases become social causes". Contexts (American Sociological Association). 4 (3): 38–42. doi:10.1525/ctx.2005.4.3.38. S2CID 61900884.
- Pitt, David E. (April 22, 1989). "Jogger's Attackers Terrorized at Least 9 in 2 Hours". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
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