COPS STILL SAY THEY WERE RIGHT ON CENTRAL PARK (Probe says serial rapist Reyes assaulted jogger later)

The five young men whose convictions in the Central Park jogger case were overturned probably participated in the attack, a Police Department report concludes.  The most likely scenario for the events of April 19, 1989, was that the defendants came upon the jogger and subjected her to the same kind of attack, albeit with sexual overtones, that they inflicted upon other victims in the park, the report stated.  Perhaps attracted to the scene by the jogger's screams, serial rapist Matias Reyes either joined in the attack as it was ending or waited until the defendants had moved on to their next victims before descending upon her himself, raping her and inflicting upon her the brutal injuries that almost caused her death.

Lawyers for Kevin Richardson, Anton McCray, Raymond Santana, Yusef Salaam and Charey Wise, the five teenagers convicted in the 1989 rape and near fatal attack on a jogger in Central Park claims that the youths have been cleared because DNA and a confession have linked Reyes, a 31 year old convicted rapist and murderer to the crime. Defense attorney Michael Warren sought to have the guilty verdicts against Richardson, McCray and Santana thrown out and Salaam and Wise were also expected to ask that their convictions be vacated. All five, four of whom were under 16 at the time, have served their sentences in the rape. The five were accused of attacking the jogger on April 19, 1989. She was beaten, raped and left for dead on a muddy ravine. In January, Reyes, who is serving 33 1/3 years to life for raping four women and killing a pregnant woman in June 1989, confessed to the jogger's rape. He said in a notarized statement for the defense on August 23, I was drawn by her appearance and I just had to have her. At one point, I picked up a tree branch...A short distance later, I hit her over the head with the tree branch. She fell down and I dragged her into a bushy area...I took off her clothing...grabbed her again...beat her with a rock.

Investigators probing the case told a judge they need more time to determine whether Reyes acted alone or was part of the gang convicted of attacking her.  Reyes revealed for the first time why he committed the horrendous crime.  He told ABC News' Primetime Thursday in an interview about the attack.  She wasn't fighting because I think she was in shock, he said.  She kept reaching over head and...screaming [about] the blood.  At one point, he said, she managed to get up and run away, and that made me more angry, too.  And the violence got more worse over there.  I know I struck her with a rock...I left her there.  Um, I thought I left her for dead.  He said he was the only person responsible for the atrocity.  I was a monster, man, he said.

A juror who helped convict Richardson and Wise adamantly stands by the verdict, saying it was based solely on the testimony and evidence, and not on race, political pressure or pity for the victim.  Believe me, we agonized over what these verdicts would mean to these teenagers and their families, said the juror, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Raymond Santana gained his freedom yesterday, just in time for Christmas.  He walked out of the Queensboro Correctional Facility in Long Island City at 6:15 p.m., hours after a Manhattan judge reduced his sentence on an unrelated drug charge.

(New York)