Originally Posted on goodhousekeeping.com
By HEATHER FINN
It’s no secret that the release of Netflix miniseries When They See Us has propelled the men known as the “Central Park Five” back into the spotlight in a huge way.
Wrongly convicted for the 1989 assault and rape of a female jogger in Central Park, these five black and Latino men — Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana, Korey Wise, and Yusef Salaam — served years in prison for a crime they didn’t commit.
As When They See Us shows, the true perpetrator of the crime (murderer and serial rapist Matias Reyes) confessed in 2002, and Kevin, Antron, Raymond, Korey, and Yusef were vacated of all charges shortly afterward. But after watching the series today, many viewers are left wondering: Where are the Central Park Five now?
Kevin Richardson, 44
Kevin was just 14 years old when he became a suspect in the Central Park Jogger case. After being wrongfully convicted, he was sentenced to five to 10 years in a youth correctional facility and ultimately served six years before being released.
Today, Kevin lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters. He works as an advocate for criminal justice reform, and continues to speak about his experiences at various events.
Antron McCray, 45
At the time of his arrest in connection to the Central Park Jogger case, Antron was 15 years old. He was pushed to falsely confess by his father, who believed Antron might go free if he told police he was involved in the jogger’s rape. Unfortunately, this led to Antron’s wrongful conviction, and he served six years in a youth correctional facility before going free.
Antron leads a relatively quiet life today in Georgia, where he lives with his wife and their six children. But to this day, he still has not forgiven his father for pushing him to lie to the police.
“I looked up to my father,” he recently told CBS News. “But he gave up on me. You know, I was telling the truth and he just told me to lie … Why should I [make peace with him]?”
Raymond Santana, 44
Like Kevin, Raymond was also only 14 years old when he was arrested in connection to the Central Park Jogger case. After submitting a false confession, he was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to five to 10 years in a youth correctional facility. He served six years before he was released.
Today, Raymond lives in Georgia with his teenage daughter. In 2018, he started his own clothing company called Park Madison NYC. (Among other shirts, jackets, and hats, the company offers a T-shirt that lists the names of the Central Park Five.) And interestingly, it was actually a tweet from Raymond that inspired director Ava Duvernay to start working on When They See Us.
“I was ready and I was willing to relive, to go through that pain again, to cry,” he told The New York Times of working with Ava on the miniseries. “It’s a sacrifice. You want to change the culture, you’ve got to be engaged. This is how we got engaged.”
Korey Wise, 46
The oldest of the so-called Central Park Five, Korey was 16 when he became a suspect in the Central Park Jogger case — and because of his age, he was tried and sentenced as an adult. Korey ended up serving 12 years in adult prisons before the true perpetrator of the crime, Matias Reyes, met him and decided to confess.
When Kevin, Antron, and Raymond’s lawsuit against New York was finally settled, Korey received $12.2 million, the largest portion of the settlement. But he knows that money will never give him back the time he lost while wrongfully incarcerated: “You can forgive, but you won’t forget,” he says in Sarah and Ken Burns’ 2012 documentary, The Central Park Five. “You won’t forget what you lost … No money could bring the life that was missing or the time that was taken away.”
Since being released from prison and exonerated, Korey has continued to live in New York City, where he works as a public speaker and criminal justice reform advocate. In 2015, he donated $190,000 to the University of Colorado’s chapter of the Innocence Project, which then changed its name to the Korey Wise Innocence Project at Colorado Law in his honor.
Yusef Salaam, 45
Yusef was 15 years old when he was wrongfully accused of participating in the rape of the Central Park Jogger. Unlike the other boys, he never actually submitted a written or videotaped confession — but he was wrongfully convicted nonetheless. Like Kevin, Antron, and Raymond, Yusef was sentenced to five to 10 years in a youth correctional facility and ended up serving more than six years.
Today, Yusef lives in Georgia with his wife and 10 children. He’s a published poet, public speaker, and advocate for criminal justice reform. Yusef has also received various awards for his work, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from former President Barack Obama in 2016.