View Full Version : Will DA Drop Sex Charges Against Men Accused In Central Park Jogger Rape Case?

Dec 3rd, 2002, 03:19 AM
Will DA Drop Sex Charges Against Men Accused In Central Park Jogger Rape, Other Assaults?

(New York-WABC, December 2, 2002) Prosecutors and police met Monday to decide what should happen to the five men convicted of raping a jogger in Central Park and attacking other park goers back in 1989. It appeared Monday that the young men may have their convictions in connection with the rape dismissed. Prosecutors are trying to decide how to handle new evidence in a case that shocked not just New York City, but the entire country. Sarah Wallace reports.

While we won't know for sure until Thursday, several sources tell us they believe it's almost a certainty that the district attorney will agree to set aside convictions against five young men on the sex charges related to the attack on the female jogger. The bigger question is whether charges involving other assaults that night will remain in place or will be thrown out as well?

A deputy NYPD chief left the Manhattan DA's office Monday besieged by reporters' questions about what happened in a critical closed-door meeting. On Thursday, prosecutors are schedule to go back to court and tell a judge whether they believe the convictions of five young men in the 1989 Central Park Jogger case should be thrown out.

Commissioner Ray Kelly was noncommittal Monday.

Commissioner Ray Kelly, NYPD: "This is an ongoing process. The fact that our people are meeting a district attorney on this matter is nothing unusual."

Sources tell Eyewitness News that a number of police officers who worked on the original case, along with former members of the DA's office are standing firm, arguing the five young men were somehow involved in the sex attack. That, despite the recent confession of Matias Reyes.

Reyes, a serial rapist and killer, told ABC News he attacked the jogger alone. It turns out his DNA is the only physical evidence that was found at the scene.

Protestors gathered outside the DA's office Monday to rally for the charges against the five men to be dismissed.

Prosecutors are scrutinizing the confessions of the defendants. Could they have been pressured to make up their involvement in the brutal rape? If so, should the sex charges be thrown out? Or should all of the charges be thrown out? The young men were also convicted in other park attacks that night.

Court TV editor Tim Sullivan wrote a book about the case.

Tim Sullivan, Court TV: "The problem with the the DA is that if you are going to go into court and tell the judge, 'We know longer consider that these videotaped statements were reliable about the sexual assault...' then it's hard to argue to the judge, 'but they were reliable about the other assaults.' There's a breakdown there."

All of the five men are now out of prison, having served their time for the gang rape and the other muggings. Matias Reyes, meanwhile, cannot be prosecuted because the statute of limitations has run out.

Dec 3rd, 2002, 04:50 PM
I hope so.