NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has approved a tentative $40 million settlement with the five men wrongly convicted in the 1989 Central Park jogger attack.
The settlement, which requires federal court approval, had not yet been filed with the judge presiding over the civil case brought by the men.
Stringer said that the settlement “closes a very difficult chapter” in the city’s history. Attorney Michael Warren said the plaintiffs were “very relieved” at Stringer’s approval, a “step in ultimately allowing these young men to move on with their lives.”
The five black and Hispanic defendants were found guilty as teenagers in the attack on a white woman, Trisha Meili, then 28 — an investment banker — who had gone for a run in the park.
The AP does not usually identify victims of sexual assault, but Meili went public as a motivational speaker and wrote a book.
The defendants served six to 13 years in prison before their convictions were thrown out in 2002 because of evidence that someone else, acting alone, committed the crime.
A re-examination of the case found that DNA on Meili’s sock pointed to Matias Reyes, a murderer and serial rapist, who confessed that he alone attacked her. The five sued police and prosecutors for $250 million.