May 20, 2019
THIRTY YEARS AFTER THE VICIOUS ATTACK ON A JOGGER IN CENTRAL PARK, ‘20/20’ PRESENTS A TWO-HOUR DOCUMENTARY ON THE CASE THAT FOREVER CHANGED THE LIVES OF ALL INVOLVED
Features New, Rare Interview With Jogger Trisha Meili and the Only Interview With Matias Reyes From the ABC News Archives, Who Confessed to Assaulting Meili
Has Exclusive Interviews With Police Involved in the Case, Speaking Out for the First Time Following a Lifted Gag Order
‘20/20: One Night in Central Park’ Airs Friday, May 24 (9:00 – 11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC
On the evening of April 19, 1989, 28-year-old Trisha Meili was viciously beaten, raped and left to die inside New York City’s Central Park. The series of events that followed, triggered a media frenzy and forever changed the lives of all involved, including the five African American and Hispanic teenagers – Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Kevin Richardson and Korey Wise – who were convicted in the attack due to their confessions, which they said were coerced by police. Their verdicts were later set aside after Matias Reyes confessed to and was convicted in the attack. Now, 30 years after the attack, a two-hour “20/20” documentary re-examines the brutal crime and its aftermath, and features a new, rare interview with Meili, the victim of the Central Park attack; exclusive interviews with police involved in the case, speaking out for the first time following a lifted gag order; and the only interview with Reyes from the ABC News archives, during which he confessed to raping Meili. “20/20: One Night in Central Park” airs Friday, May 24 (9:00 – 11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC.
“20/20” features exclusive interviews with Michael Armstrong, former federal prosecutor who reinvestigated the case and found no police misconduct; Victoria Breyer, juror for Richardson and Wise’s trial; Eric Reynolds, retired NYPD detective and arresting officer on the scene; and Michael Sheehan, former NYPD detective who worked on the case. The documentary includes new interviews with Sarah Burns, director of “The Central Park Five,” a documentary about the case; Saul Kassin, an expert on false confessions; Reverend Al Sharpton, who was heavily involved in the case and assisted in raising bail for some of the accused; Dr. Robert Kurtz and Dr. Jane Haher, who treated Meili; Jelani Cobb, reporter who wrote about the case in The New Yorker; Errol Louis, NY1 journalist who reported on the case; and Tim Clements, co-prosecutor for the District Attorney’s Office during the trials. The documentary features archival interviews with Santana, McCray, Salaam, Richardson and Wise, and some of their family members; and Harold Brueland and Eric Roach, jurors for Salaam, McCray and Santana’s trial; along with exclusive footage of Wise getting out of prison.
Two trials followed Meili’s attack and all five men who were convicted for various crimes and served time in prison. No scientific evidence tied them to the crimes. Thirteen years after their convictions, Reyes, a convicted homicidal, serial rapist who was serving life in prison, confessed to attacking and raping Meili alone, and police identified him as a perfect DNA match to the perpetrator. After the verdicts of the five men were set aside, they sued New York City for the years they spent in prison. In 2014, they received a settlement from the city of $41 million after Mayor Bill de Blasio was elected, 11 years after their lawsuit was filed. The city denied any wrongdoing in the settlement.
“20/20” is anchored by David Muir and Amy Robach. David Sloan is senior executive producer.
ABC News Media Relations
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