December 09, 2003

It's About Justice

3 of 5 in Jogger Case Sue City, Charging a Wide Conspiracy

Three of the five men whose convictions were overturned last year in the 1989 Central Park jogger attack filed a federal civil rights lawsuit yesterday against New York City, the Police Department and prosecutors.

In the lawsuit, filed in United States District Court in Manhattan, the three claimed that their convictions in the 1989 attack were based on racial animus and a wide conspiracy among law enforcement officials.

The suit, which seeks $50 million for each man, did not come as a surprise. In fact, lawyers for the three men, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson and Raymond Santana Jr., along with the men's families, said months ago that they would seek civil damages. That was after a State Supreme Court justice in Manhattan vacated the original convictions as recommended by the Manhattan district attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau. (Lawyers for the two other men whose convictions were overturned, Yousef Salaam and Kharey Wise, have previously indicated that they will bring similar suits.)

Representatives for the city, the district attorney and the Police Department would not comment on the lawsuit, saying they had not seen it.

Mr. Morgenthau's 11-month reconstruction of the case last year found DNA and other evidence that the jogger had been beaten and raped by only one man, Mathias Reyes, a convicted murderer and rapist who confessed last January that he alone had attacked the jogger.

The other men served between 7 and 13 years in jail.

[ the complete article ]

Posted by ronn at December 9, 2003 02:16 AM