Imagine barely being a teenager and being arrested and coerced into a crime that you didn’t commit. Imagine you and a your friends were also wrongfully convicted. Back in 1989 there was a rape that occurred in Central Park, NY. Wrongly sentenced for the 1989 attack and rape of a female jogger in Central Park, the five black and latino children namely: Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, and Korey Wise served seven years in jail for an offense they had not committed.
The real perpetrator of the offense, Matias Reyes admitted guilt in 2002, and the five young men were relinquished of all charges immediately. After watching the series, numerous viewers were left in shock wondering where the five young men could be at the moment. It turns out, they’ve done positive things and are all moving in a positive direction. The psychological and emotional damage from the time in prison affects them to this day however.
Here’s the central Park 5 and where they are today:
Kevin Richardson, 45
Kevin was barely fourteen years old when he came to be a suspect of the Central Park assault. After the wrongful conviction, Kelvin was found guilty and was sent to prison for 5 to 10 years in a youth retributive facility and eventually served 6 years before being acquitted. Presently, Kevin resides in New Jersey with his family. He serves as a lawyer for criminal justice reform and keeps on speaking about his ordeals at various occasions.
Antron McCray, 46
During the time of his arrest in linkage to the Central Park assault case, Antron was barely fifteen years old. Unfortunately, his father pushed him to accept he was responsible as he believed his son would be set free if he admitted responsibility for the Central Park assault. Unfortunately, the false testimony led to Antron being wrongfully convicted and went ahead to serve 6 years in a youth punitive facility before he was set free. Presently, Antron lives a relatively modest life in Georgia, where he stays with his wife and their 6 children. However, until now, Antron still he is yet to forgive his father for having pushed him to tell lies to the authority.
Raymond Santana Jr, 45
Just like Kevin, Raymond was similarly only 14 years old when he apprehended in connection to the Central Park assault and rape trial. After providing a false confession, he was as wrongfully passed sentence on and was sent to 5 to 10 years in a youth correctional facility. Raymond served 6 years before he regained his freedom. Raymond started his own clothing company in 2018, a company known as Park Madison NYC. The company offers T-shirts with names of the Central Park Five inscribed. The company also offers shirts, jackets, and hats. Interestingly, it was a tweet from Raymond that motivated director Ava Duvernay to begin working on the film ‘When They See Us’. Raymond confessed that he was willing to get relived and go through the pain once more and probably shed tears. Raymond had a strong desire to participate in an activity that could inspire cultural changes in the society and that how he got engaged with director Ava.
Korey Wise, 47
Korey who was the oldest of the five Central Park assault suspects, he was only 16 years old when he was apprehended in connection with the Central Park Jogger case. Unfortunately, due to his age, Korey was tried as an adult, as a result, he ended up serving twelve years in prison the person who had committed the crime, Matias Reyes met with him and agreed to confess. Upon the settlement of a lawsuit by Antron, Kevin, and Raymond, Korey received the largest portion of the money, as he got $12.2 million. Nevertheless, he admits that money will never make him recover the years he lost in prison for a crime he had not committed. Since regaining his freedom, Korey has resumed his life in New York City, where he currently serves as a public speaker as well as an advocate for criminal justice reform.
Yusef Salaam, 46
Yusef was only fifteen years old when he was wrongfully charged for participating in the assault and rape incidence that happened in Central Park. However, unlike the others, he never really submitted any confession either written or videotaped. Nevertheless, just like his colleagues he was as well wrongfully convicted. Yusef was sentenced for 5 to 10 years in prison whereby he ended up spending more than 6 years before he was set free. At the moment, Yusef is a father to ten children and resides in Georgia where he lives with his family. Yusef is a public speaker, published poet, and also an advocate for criminal justice reform. He has been earned several honors for his work, including a Lifetime Achievement Award which was awarded to him by former President Barack Obama in 2016.
Despite having spent several years in prison for crimes they did not commit, the Central Park Five have been participating in meaningful engagements in the society to promote awareness and advocate for a robust criminal justice system so as to avoid such gross injustice in the future.