April 28, 2011
Man Cleared In Central Park Jogging Case Demands Apology from Trump
One of the young men exonerated in the Central Park Jogger case has
strong words for Donald Trump.
In an exclusive interview with NY1, Raymond Santana is demanding an
apology from the real estate mogul who is now considering a run for
Trump paid $85,000 for full-page ads in four city newspapers in 1989
calling for the death penalty for Santana and four other teens whose
videotaped confessions outraged the city -- confessions they insisted
had been forced by police.
In the ads, which have the banner headline "Bring Back the Death
Penalty," Trump wrote, "They should be forced to suffer and, when they
kill, they should be executed for their crimes. They must serve as
examples so that others will think long and hard before committing a
crime or an act of violence."
Santana was 14 years old at the time. He says Trump's call for the
"death penalty" helped fuel the media firestorm before the suspects
even went to trial.
"It says a lot about his character. If he can give the death penalty
to 14-year-old, 15-year-old kids then there's nothing he would not do.
Those are characteristics of a tyrant, not characteristics of a
president," Santana said.
Santana served seven years in prison in connection with the rape and
beating of Trisha Meili.
Then another man, Matias Reyes, confessed to the crime and was linked
to the scene by DNA evidence. He told officials he acted alone.
The convictions of Santana and the four others were vacated in 2002.
Trump has never apologized for his ads.
"He took the ads out on us. Donald Trump is an opportunist, he's also
a user and abuser. He has been using our community since the
beginning," said Santana. "It's time that people wake up and see
Donald Trump for what he really is. He's a phony. He could've come out
and apologized he could have came out and said I was wrong. I think
that would have made him look more human in the eyes of society. But
he never did that."
Santana and the four other men are now suing the city for malicious prosecution.
NY1 has reached out to Trump for comment.