Join The Gist of Freedom and host ILYASAH SHABAZZ, as she speaks with Yusef Salaam, One of the 5 Central Park convicted survivors. Mr. Salaam says that New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s call for a settlement to the suit by the wrongfully convicted five men allows the matter to come to an end. Read More
In a jailhouse confession following his conversion to Christianity, Matias Reyes claimed that he raped the Central Park Jogger, exonerating the five Harlem teens who were wrongfully convicted in the infamous racially charged 1989 case.
Reyes, now 31, said he was moved to admit his guilt after witnessing the hard time Wise was having in prison- and to rue the miscarriage of justice that may have been as horrible as the crime that caused it.
"What I didn't feel back in 1989, I felt it then," he told Primetime. "I said, 'It's time. I can't believe I let this man in here 13 years of his life, for something that he didn't do.'"
Reyes knew that Wise was charged in the Central Park rape, but he said nothing. "You know what it is to be in front of a guy, to sit and watch TV for so many days in the room right there? And you knowing that you did what the guy's accused of and not finding the strength or the desire to tell this man that 'Hey, it's me. You didn't do this. Let me help you out'?
On December 19, 2002, on the recommendation of the Manhattan District Attorney, the convictions of the five teens, now men, were overturned. Yusef Salaam had served five and a half years for a crime he did not commit.
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