April Ryan to Trump: 'Will you apologize to the Central Park Five?'

White House correspondent and CNN political analyst April Ryan called on President TrumpDonald John TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' MORE to apologize to the "Central Park Five" over a full-page ad he took out in four New York City newspapers in 1989 calling for the death penalty following the brutal rape and assault of then-28-year-old investment banker Trisha Meili. 

"BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE," read the Trump ads from May 1, 1989, which ran ten days after the assault occurred. "I want to hate these murderers and I always will. I am not looking to psychoanalyze or understand them, I am looking to punish them."    

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The "Central Park Five" — five boys aged 14 to 16 — were convicted of rape and assault in 1990 and received prison sentences ranging from six to 16 years.

Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam and Korey Wise were cleared in 2002 after a convicted murderer named Matias Reyes confessed to raping Meili. DNA evidence backed up the confession. 

Ryan, in a tweet to her more than 540,000 followers, asked the president if he planned to apologize. 



The city of New York awarded the five men $41 million in 2014. 

But Trump, who would announce his run for president one year later, continued to maintain their guilt, calling the settlement "a disgrace" in an op-ed in the New York Daily News.

"Forty million dollars is a lot of money for the taxpayers of New York to pay when we are already the highest taxed city and state in the country. The recipients must be laughing out loud at the stupidity of the city," wrote Trump. 

"Speak to the detectives on the case and try listening to the facts. These young men do not exactly have the pasts of angels," he added. 

The "Central Park Five" case has made headlines lately due to a Netflix documentary recently released that looks back on the series of events. 

Elizabeth Lederer, one of two assistant district attorneys who prosecuted the five boys at the time, announced on Monday she will be stepping down from her post as a part-time lecturer at Columbia Law School. 

Linda Fairstein, who oversaw the prosecution, has also faced backlash due to renewed interest generated by the miniseries. In addition to resigning from several charity boards, she was dropped by Little, Brown and Dutton, which published her crime fiction novels.