NEW YORK, June 26 (UPI) -- New York's comptroller called a $40 million settlement with five men wrongly convicted of a vicious rape "prudent and equitable," as he signed off on the deal Thursday.
A federal judge must now decide whether to accept the settlement of the lawsuit brought by the men known as the "Central Park Five." City Comptroller Scott Stringer's approval makes the offer official.
"In my judgment, this settlement is a prudent and equitable solution for all parties to the lawsuit and closes a very difficult chapter in our City's history," Stringer said in a statement.
Antron McCray, Raymond Santana Jr., Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam and Kharey Wise were teenagers when Trisha Meili, a young investment banker, was raped, beaten and left for dead during an evening jog in Central Park in 1989. The five had admittedly been in the park that night but said that confessions four of them gave police were coerced during lengthy interrogations without parents or lawyers present.
The five were convicted and received prison terms of between seven and 13 years. In 2002, Matias Reyes, who had been convicted of rape and murder, came forward and admitted the Central Park attack, a story confirmed by DNA.
Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns released a movie on the case, The Central Park Five, in 2012.
The city had argued for dismissal of the lawsuit, arguing police had probable cause to arrest and hold the teens.