Kevin Richardson is one of the Central Park Five. He was 14 years old when he was arrested in 1989 for the rape of Trisha Meili, known then as the Central Park jogger. Richardson was convicted of the rape of Meili, along with Korey Wise, Yusef Salaam, Antron McCray, and Raymond Santana. He ended up spending seven years in prison for the crime, convicted of attempted murder, rape, sodomy, and robbery.
In 2002, Richardson and the others were fully exonerated of the convictions against them, after Matias Reyes, a serial rapist, admitted to having committed the crime. A DNA test subsequently proved Reyes had been at the crime scene.
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. Per the University of Michigan Law School, Richardson was slated to receive $7.125 million of that settlement. When They See Us, a four part series on Netflix directed by Ava DuVernay, explores the famous and heartbreaking historical event.
Here’s what you need to know about where Richardson is now:
Kevin Richardson Lives in New Jersey & Is an Activist for Criminal Justice Reform
According to The Innocence Project, Kevin Richardson, 44, now lives in New Jersey with his wife and children. He has worked with Santana and Salaam in the past to push criminal justice reform efforts in New York City over the years.
Richardson has fully endorsed the accuracy of When They See Us, saying in an interview leading up to the premiere of the Netflix show, “With this series … you see everything that we went through and you see how our life transpired from 1989 to 2012.”
In the video above, which was taken in 2017, Richardson, Santana, and Salaam all gave a talk at the Fashion Institute of Technology to talk about their experience and their fight for reform.
Richardson was only 14 years old when he was arrested, and he spent seven years in prison. To The New York Times he said,
PTSD is real and I go through that. People might think on the outside looking in that I’m doing swell because we got the settlement. That doesn’t erase the time that I did. We always say we have invisible scars nobody sees. And no matter how you cover it, the scab will keep coming off.
He added, “The settlement didn’t really mean anything. Just to tell people we told you so from the beginning — that’s all we wanted.”
Richardson further explained that he thought the series could have a positive message, in spite of all of the pain that led up to it. He said,
“…I didn’t want to be an older, bitter man, even though I am angry, yes. But we did want to channel that energy and turn this to something positive so we could build for our future generation…I want everybody to know that we’re survivors of this and we don’t want to see another Central Park Five. We don’t want to see another Scottsboro Boys. We don’t want to see another Emmett Till.”