The Washington Post

‘Central Park Five’ conviction overturned


A co-defendant of the “Central Park Five,” whose conviction­s in a notorious 1989 rape of a jogger were thrown out more than a decade later, had his conviction on a related charge overturned Monday.

Steven Lopez was exonerated in response to requests by both Lopez’s attorney and prosecutor­s at a court hearing in Manhattan.

Lopez was 15 when he was arrested along with five other Black and Latino teenagers in the rape and assault on Trisha Meili but reached a deal with prosecutor­s to plead guilty to the lesser charge that he and several others mugged a male jogger on the same night.

District Attorney Alvin Bragg told a judge Monday that a review of the case found that Lopez had pleaded guilty involuntar­ily “in the face of false statements” and under “immense external pressure.” He served more than three years behind bars before being released in the early 1990s.

The Central Park Five went on to win a $40 million settlement from the city. Lopez, 48, has not received a settlement.

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