Matias Reyes, convicted serial rapist who admitted to raping Tricia Meili in 1989, is still in prison and will be eligible for parole in 2022. He came forward over a decade after the Central Park Five were convicted for the crime. The story will be featured on tonight’s episode of ABC’s 20/20.
According to New York Daily News, Reyes came forward about the crime because “it was the right thing to do.” His admission in the case led to the release of the Central Park Five, who were originally convicted of the crime. The men were given a $41 million settlement from the City of New York for their wrongful conviction.
Reyes came forward after meeting Korey Wise, one of the men who was convicted of the crime, in prison. Wise was the only one of the five who was tried and convicted as an adult for the crime.
Reyes Was Already in Prison When He Came Forward
As demonstrators continue fighting for equality today, #ABC2020 examines how we might see the “Central Park Five” differently in the age of #BlackLivesMatter. 20/20 starts at 9/8c on ABC. pic.twitter.com/njNmcuYQXZ
— 20/20 (@ABC2020) August 21, 2020
Reyes was serving prison sentences related to the rape of four other women when he admitted that he raped Tricia Meili. At the time, authorities were able to determine that his DNA was a perfect match with the DNA at the crime scene.
Cops and prosecutors involved with the case said Reyes made up the story, possibly to get in with Wise, who they say was a high-ranking Bloods prison leader and could provide protection for Reyes.
According to The New York Times, Reyes had a rough childhood. When he was just two years old, his mother sold him to his father for $400, and he told a psychologist he was sexually abused and thrown into a river by two older boys when he was seven years old.
Ultimately, Reyes was convicted of the murder of Lourdes Gonzalez, who was 24 at the time of her death. Gonzalez was raped and stabbed nine times in her apartment in 1989. According to The New York Times, her three children were listening through the bedroom door while their mother was sexually assaulted and then murdered.
Two other women who survived their encounter with Reyes came forward, telling police that he gave them a choice between keeping their lives and their eyes. They chose their lives, and Reyes stabbed them around their eyes, though the wounds were superficial.
Reyes Will Be Eligible for Parole in 2022
Trisha Meili said she went for her routine run through New York City’s Central Park after work the night of April 19, 1989. A little before midnight, however, her body was found in a remote ravine. #OneNightInCentralPark – starts at 9|8c tonight! https://t.co/u6LgcTSsOM pic.twitter.com/wFMWjGmfFn
— 20/20 (@ABC2020) August 21, 2020
According to the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Reyes is eligible for parole on December 2, 2022. His parole hearing date, according to the website, is in August 2022. His aggregate maximum sentence, however, is life in prison.
Reyes was captured in August 1989 after committing one murder, five rapes, two attempted rapes and a number of muggings. He was caught in a building on East 91st Street after a woman who had been raped in her apartment ran down the stairs wearing a towel. Two men caught him in the lobby.
Trisha Meili, the jogger who was brutally attacked in Central Park in 1989, has maintained that she believes more than one person attacked her and it wasn’t just Reyes.
“I so wish the case hadn’t been settled,” she told 20/20. “I wish that it hadgone to court because there’s a lot of information that’s now being released that I’m seeing for the first time. I support the work of law enforcement and prosecutors.”
Meili now works with survivors of brain injuries, sexual assault, and other kinds of trauma. Reyes is in prison and will remain there at least until 2022.