It’s been 14 years since the young men known as the Central Park Five had their convictions vacated for the brutal rape and assault of a female jogger that rocked New York City in 1989, yet Donald Trump remains convinced of their guilt.
“They admitted they were guilty,” Trump told CNN this week of Antron McCray, Raymond Santana Jr., Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam and Kharey Wise, who ranged in age from 14 to 16 when they were arrested in the immediate aftermath of the attack that left the 28-year-old victim in a coma for 12 days.
The young men have long maintained their innocence and claimed that police coerced them into providing false confessions that lead to their convictions in 1990. In 2002, a convicted rapist and murderer named Matias Reyes confessed to the gruesome attack, and after an investigation by the Manhattan district attorney revealed DNA evidence linking Reyes to the victim, the Central Park Five were exonerated.
Still, the Republican presidential nominee argued, “The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty.”
“The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous,” Trump told CNN. “And the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same.”