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(L-R): Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana, KOrey Wise, Yusef Salaam

The Real Life Men Behind 'When They See Us' Are Still Struggling to Be Seen


For years, they were known collectively as the Central Park Five. But after Ava DuVernay's four-part Netflix series When They See Us debuts, you're sure to call them by their names. In 1989 five boys ranging in age from 14 to 16 were accused of attacking and gang-raping a jogger, Trisha Meili, who was left for dead but survived her attack (she has no memory of her assault). 

Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, and Korey Wise gave confessions — they say were coerced — and were tried and convicted. However, after having all been released after serving between 6 and 13 years, their convictions were vacated in 2002. Why? The real attacker, Matias Reyes, confessed from prison that he was Trisha Meili's sole attacker that night. DNA evidence corroborated his confession.