Back in 1989 a brutal story of rape out of New York gripped the nation. A 28-year-old female investment banker who liked to go jogging at night was brutally beaten and raped. Five young black and Hispanic boys who ranged in age from 14 to 16 were arrested and convicted of the crime in 1990 and were known as the Central Park Five. The five defendants initially confessed to the crime, but almost immediately recanted the confession claiming that the police coerced them into making the statements. In addition, the police had no evidence other than the confession that the boys raped the woman.
The conviction lead to the young men serving between 7 and 13 years for a crime they claimed they did not commit. Now it turns out they were telling the truth the whole time and in 2002 a New York State Supreme Court judge vacated the convictions after DNA evidence showed the crime was committed by one man. The man was a serial rapist and murderer named Matias Reyes who actually confessed to the crime.
The five men filed a civil rights lawsuit and sued in Federal court. Now after all of these years, the group have settled out of court for an estimated $40 million. The city government is reeling over the lawsuit which was fought by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg who stated that the police acted in good faith. Current Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed when he took office that he would work towards a settlement of the case. The settlement roughly amounts to $1 million for each year spent in prison by the defendants.
The settlement will still need the approval of the city comptroller and then will be submitted for approval to Judge Deborah Batts of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.