Presidential races

Trump still insists exonerated ‘Central Park Five’ are guilty

Donald Trump is standing by his claim that a group of men known as the “Central Park Five” — who were exonerated for a brutal rape and beating in 1989 — are in fact guilty.

{mosads}”They admitted they were guilty,” Trump told CNN in a story published Friday. “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. And the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same.”

The five men were arrested after they were discovered to have been in Central Park the night that a 28-year-old woman was beaten, raped and left tied up. The attack left her suffering from hypothermia and brain damage.

The group was convicted for the crime after confessing to police, though the men insist that their confessions were coerced as a result of a two-day long interrogation.

But in 2002, another man — a convicted rapist and murderer — confessed to the crime, which led to the Central Park Five being exonerated. Police have found no DNA evidence linking any of the exonerated men to the crime.

Four of the men served seven years in prison, while the fifth served 13 years. In 2014, the city agreed to pay them $41 million as part of a settlement over their wrongful conviction.

In the wake of the attack, Trump took out a full-page ad in four New York City newspapers in 1989 calling for the return of the death penalty. 

The message of the ad mirrors some of the rhetoric Trump has used on the campaign trail and includes a call to restore “law and order.”

“I want to hate these muggers and murderers,” he wrote of the city’s criminals. “They should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes.”

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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