Central Park Jogger Attack: Crime Scene Photos [GRAPHIC]

Matias Reyes

In 1989, a woman running through Central Park was attacked, raped, and brutalized within an inch of her life. The Central Park Jogger was a woman named Trisha Meili. Her attack led to the wrongful conviction of the Central Park Five.

The Central Park Five are four black men and one hispanic man who were arrested and wrongfully convicted for the rape of a white women named Trisha Meili in 1989. They were eventually exonerated after one of the five, Korey Wise, met serial rapist Matias Reyes during his time in prison. Reyes would go on to admit that he committed the crime, and a subsequent DNA test would prove he was at the scene of the crime.

Following the exoneration of the five men, the City of New York agreed to pay them a settlement of $41 million, which was approximately one million for each of their years spent in prison. When They See Us, a four part series on Netflix directed by Ava DuVernay, explores the experience of these five men: Korey Wise, Raymond Santana, Yusef Salaam, Antron McCray, and Kevin Richardson.

Meili’s identity remained anonymous for 14 years; during those 14 years, the Central Park Five were arrested and wrongfully convicted for the assault. In 2002, a year before Meili spoke out publicly to confirm her identity, Matias Reyes (a serial rapist) admitted to the crime.

Meili has said she has no memory of the night she was raped. Following the brutality, she was hospitalized. She was 28 years old at the time, and weighed less than 100 pounds. She was in a coma for 12 days before finally waking up, against all medical odds.

Though Meili testified twice at the trial for the Central Park Five, the media preserved her anonymity. She finally spoke out publicly when she published her memoir, I Am the Central Park Jogger. 

Here are the crime scene photos of the tragic event:


Crime Scene Photos from Central Park Jogger Attack [Graphic]

Here are the crime scene photos from the attack of the Central Park Jogger, as released by the New York City Law Department:

‌New York City Law Department

The photo above shows a totally bloodied jacket. Meili lost 75% of her body’s blood during the attack. Her recovery was considered a miracle.

‌‌New York City Law Department

Reyes decided to come forward after he met Korey Wise in prison. Wise was one of the Central Park Five, and the only one of the group who was tried and convicted as an adult for the crime.

In 2002, Reyes, then 30, said at the time per The New York Daily News, “I know it’s hard for people to understand, after 12 years why a person would actually come forward to take responsibility for a crime. I’ve asked myself that question. At first, I was afraid, but at the end of the day I felt it was definitely the right thing to do.”

‌‌New York City Law Department

According to The New York Times in 2002, Reyes had a troubling childhood history, he claimed, where his mother sold him to his father for $400 and he was sexually assaulted when he was seven years old. Reyes’ criminal history leading up to his conviction in the Central Park jogger case was incredibly graphic: he raped and stabbed 24-year-old Lourdes Gonzalez in 1989 (the same year Meili was raped), while her three children were listening in the other room.

‌‌New York City Law Department

During his confession in 2002 (which you can listen to in full here), Reyes said that he “wanted so bad to approach” Wise while they were in jail together, “and to speak to him and to tell him that it was me that did the crime he’s in jail for, that if he could forgive me.” He added, “But there was a thing in the back of my head that was saying, ‘You don’t know what this kid has gone through in 12 years of his life.”

He said in his confession,

“I struck her from behind, back of the head. She fell down. After she fell down, I dragged her to the bushes. I violated her – raped her. And after I’m finished she’s struggling. I beat her with a rock…I went off. I hit her a lot of times. I heard bones crushing.”

New York City Law Department

After hearing news of the exoneration of the Central Park Five and the conviction of Reyes, Meili spoke out, maintaining she remembered nothing of the evening but that she was surprised that only one man would have been involved. She said to 20/20, “When [Reyes] said that he and he alone had done it, that’s when some of the turmoil started, and [me] wondering, ‘Well, how can that be?'”

 

READ NEXT: Linda Fairstein, Central Park 5 Prosecutor: Where Is She Now?

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