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Thursday, October 17, 2002

CSI: Cental Park Jogger

Joyce Purnick of the NY Times devotes a Metro column, right there on page B1, to the case today. Although basically a summary, she does raise new points:

"Another question: If detectives imposed a fabricated story, why would they risk being contradicted by the victim? There was no guarantee that if she awoke from a coma, she would have no memory of her attack."

Well, these were homicide detectives, so being contradicted by the victim was not their normal experience. In this case, the woman was found near death, and her survival and recovery were considered to be miraculous. However, it is an intriguing queston.

"THE five have served from just under 9 years to 13 years, and now Robert M. Morgenthau, the Manhattan district attorney, says he is prepared to agree to vacate the convictions because of newly discovered evidence — that Mr. Reyes, now 31, raped another woman in Central Park two days before the jogger was raped...."

Well, Morgenthau admitted that vacating the sentences was a possibility. But his statement today, and earlier reporting, contradict the assertion above.

"That, as well as Mr. Reyes's confession and the collapse of some DNA evidence, would make a new trial futile."

We said so a while back. Hey, even a blind squirrel finds a nut.

"... Throwing out the convictions, though, does not give the five men what they want: a declaration of innocence. Only if they are exonerated, in a separate legal proceeding, can they seek civil damages."

OK, I have never heard of such a thing. Since I try to learn something new every day, I will commence to plague the resourceful and inexhaustible team at TalkLeft.

Finally, a psychologist who interviewed Matias Reyes comments:

"The forensic psychologist who interviewed Matias Reyes after he was charged in an unrelated rape and murder case said yesterday that Reyes would have had no problem sexually assaulting the Central Park jogger if he had found her lying unconscious.

"He could definitely do that," the psychologist, N.G. Berrill, said. "He's a very violent, anti-social individual. It's in the realm of possibility that he could have done something like that."

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