Secret documents in jogger rape
SHE was a white, 28-year-old investment banker from New York's Upper West Side, who loved jogging through Central Park in the evening.
Then came the night that changed her life forever, and catapulted her to unwanted fame as the victim of one of the most infamous crimes in the city's history.
Patricia "Trisha" Meili left for her usual run just after 9pm on April 19, 1989, and was found by two walkers hours later, brutally beaten and raped. She suffered 75 per cent blood loss and was in a coma for 12 days. Doctors feared she would die.
Five black and Hispanic teenagers - Antron McCray, 15, Kevin Richardson, 14, Yusef Salaam, 15, Raymond Santana, 14, and Korey Wise, 16 - were convicted of gang rape.
"The Central Park Five" found instant notoriety, the sickening assault against a young woman splashed across newspapers worldwide, and tapping into racially charged fears of a crime wave in the city at the time.
Real estate mogul Donald Trump took out four full-page ads in New York newspapers claiming "roving bands of wild criminals roam our neighbourhoods" and calling for the death penalty to be brought back.
But in 2002, the young men were sensationally exonerated after serial rapist Matias Reyes, already serving a life sentence for other attacks, confessed to carrying out the crime alone. His DNA matched semen taken from Ms Meili at the time. There were no DNA matches with the convicted teenagers.
District Attorney Robert Morgenthau withdrew all the charges and did not seek a retrial.
The five were released after more than a decade in prison and the police force accused of coercing the confessions from them, and they later received a settlement of $US41 million.
But doubts and counterclaims about the shocking rape and the investigation meant it never lost its hold on the public consciousness.
'WE DON'T WANT THAT NOTORIETY. WE CAN'T SHAKE IT OFF'
Last week, the city began releasing 100,000 documents linked to the case, from grisly crime scene photos to the chilling statements from the young boys, some of whom were questioned without a parent present.
The first tranche contained photos of a shirt soaked in blood, marks from where Ms Meili's body was dragged and of a discarded sock that had Reyes' DNA on it.
On the night of the rape, more than 30 teenagers entered the park, and a series of crimes were committed against 10 victims.
In one 911 call recorded that night, a witness tells police: "They are attacking joggers by the reservoir by 96th Street."
Another piece of audio is of a police officer: "We just got a call of a group of 30 to 40 male blacks in Central Park approximately at 100th Street … disorderly and harassing people."
In one of the statements the teenagers later said were coerced, Santana describes how a group of boys entered the park to "rob joggers", and details seeing his co-accused pin a woman down and rape her, before he "crawled next to her and I felt her t*ts. That's all I did."
He says today that he and the others fell victim to the police department's tactics precisely because of their innocence. "We became the Central Park Five because we were the most vulnerable," he told the New York Daily News. "We had no criminal history."
Today, Santana's daughter is the same age he was when the crime took place and he says it has been hard to move on with his life. "Me and my daughter have unfortunately have had to have these talks since she was maybe even 10 or 11," he added. "Here we are, we've been in this spotlight for 29 years. Almost 30 years. And we don't want that notoriety. We can't shake it off."
THE CENTRAL PARK JOGGER
Ms Meili has no memory of the vicious attack, but she is hopeful the massive document dump will provide answers.
"For my own peace of mind, I wanted to find the truth of what happened and who was involved, and so that's why I'm eager to see the release of these documents," she said. "It's information and the details I've never had access to."
Ms Meili had to relearn how to walk and button her shirt, and has permanent brain damage, but she went on to become a public speaker and author of the book I Am The Central Park Jogger. She says the settlement gave the impression the teenagers' civil rights were violated by police, and she would "like it to be acknowledged" that law enforcement did not act improperly.
Prosecutor Nancy Ryan said the confessions contained "troubling discrepancies", in her 2002 report recommending their convictions be overturned.
But NYPD detectives from the time said her report was filled with inaccuracies and omissions, designed to paint a picture of a corrupt and racist police force. Detective Rob Mooney even said she interfered with his questioning of Reyes, who he was convinced did not rape Ms Meili alone.
Some law enforcement officials still claim the teenagers were rioting and committed other assaults that night, but the District Attorney's office concluded in 2002 there was not enough untainted evidence to prove it.
The story became the subject of critically acclaimed documentary The Central Park Five, and is now being developed into a five-part Netflix series with Ava DuVernay as executive producer, due for release in 2019.
"The Central Park Five documentary was a one-sided piece of garbage that didn't explain the horrific crimes of these young men while in (the) park," tweeted Mr Trump in 2013.
DuVernay said in statement last year: "The story of the men known as Central Park Five has riveted me for more than two decades.
"In their journey, we witness five innocent young men of colour who were met with injustice at every turn - from coerced confessions to unjust incarceration to public calls for their execution by the man who would go on to be the President of the United States."