The city on Thursday began releasing about 100,000 pages of court, police and prosecution documents connected to the infamous “Central Park Five” case.
The massive document dump has been in the making for three years as lawyers for the city and five men — who were wrongly convicted of raping a jogger in Central Park in 1989 — have been in talks over which papers should be released.
Lawyers for the men said they want as many documents released, so more can be learned about why their clients were convicted of crimes they didn’t commit.
About 12,000 pages went up Thursday on a site set up by the city.
The parties had originally believed 200,000 pages would be made public, but only 100,000 will see the light of day because “the rest will remain confidential pursuant to court order, party agreements and applicable statutes,” a source close to the talks said.
The city website divided documents to be released into six categories: federal civil litigation; incarceration and parole records; miscellaneous; NYPD re-investigation; Manhattan DA re-investigation; and original investigation and prosecution.
Documents released on Thursday night were only from that last category, of original police and DA investigatory notes.
They included such things as photos related to the crime, including an image of a bloody shirt, though it does not make clear whose shirt it is.
Five black and Hispanic men — Antron McCray, 15 at the time, Kevin Richardson, 14, Yusef Salaam, 15, Raymond Santana, 14, and Korey Wise, 16 — were convicted of raping a jogger as she ran through the north end of Central Park on April 19, 1989.
The woman, then 28, was raped and nearly beaten to death.
The attack shocked New Yorkers at a time of high crime and urban decay in the city.
Then-real estate baron and future president Donald Trump famously took out full-page newspaper ads in New York calling for the death penalty for the young suspects.
After more than a decade behind bars, the convicted men were released from prison and their convictions vacated when serial rapist Matias Reyes — already doing life for murder — confessed to the Central Park crime in 2002.
Reyes’ DNA matched semen taken off the victim.
The men were released from prison and sued the city in 2003. They finally settled in 2012 for $41 million.
Their case was the subject of a critically acclaimed Ken Burns documentary, “The Central Park Five.”
The future president never backed away from his call for the death penalty.
Trump ripped the Burns work in 2013, tweeting: “The Central Park Five documentary was a one sided piece of garbage that didn’t explain the horrific crimes of these young men while in park.”
By DAVID K. LI