Posted on January 12, 2021

Support Grows for Monument Commemorating the ‘Central Park Jogger’ Case in the Park

Rocco Parascandola, New York Daily News, January 10, 2021

The city is moving closer to honoring the five teens convicted in the racially charged Central Park Jogger case.

The permanent exhibit would be installed in the northeast part of the park, near where the teens entered that fateful night in April 1989 — and would highlight their fight for justice against a system they and their supporters believe railroaded them and led to their convictions in the rape of Trisha Meili.

It’s not yet clear if there will be a statue or some other artistic rendering.


Police and prosecutors involved in the case have long contended the five teens were not the innocents they’ve been cast as by their supporters.

Retired NYPD Detective Eric Reynolds who was a patrol officer the night of the crime and arrested three of the five, said too many people have ignored what really happened.

“Does anybody know any of the actual facts of the case?” he asked. “Because this is astounding. Is there anything for the jogger? Is there anything for Trisha Meili? I think she should get a monument before they do.”

The mayor has signaled his support, with a spokesman saying he is “absolutely open to acknowledging this chapter of our history in the park,” as has Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who says any remembrance is an opportunity to learn from what went wrong.

“There are a lot of racial issues to discuss,” she said. “And I think it’s important to have that discussion.”


The New York City of 1989 was a very different place, with thousands of murders, the unfolding crack epidemic and crime on the rise. And the depravity of the jogger case still stunned the five boroughs.

Meili, a white 28-year-old Salomon Brothers investment banker, was found bloody, beaten and violated in a ravine near the 102nd Street cross path on April 19.

Five teens, Salaam, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson and Korey Wise, were picked up and charged in the attack, and assaults on other people in the park that night. The quintet said they were coerced into give false confessions. {snip}

They served between 6½ and 13 years in prison for the crimes. Then, in 2002, convicted rapist and killer Matias Reyes stepped forward with a stunning claim: he alone raped the jogger, though doctors had said her physical injuries pointed to more than one attacker.


In 2014, the city settled a wrongful conviction lawsuit, paying the five $41 million but denying any wrongdoing by the NYPD or prosecutors.