Report: Suspect Says Another Raped
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NEW YORK (AP) _ A man who claims to have acted alone in the rape and beating of a jogger in Central Park 13 years ago told police he committed an identical attack in the same area of the park two days earlier, a published report said.
Matias Reyes told officials he was responsible for beating and sexually assaulting a woman in her 20s in the park April 17, 1989, The New York Times reported in its Saturday editions. Unnamed officials told the paper the woman was so severely beaten she spent two nights in St. Luke’s Hospital. Reyes was not prosecuted for the attack.
Officials are currently investigating Reyes’s claim that he acted alone in the assault on the jogger and that five teen-agers who were tried and convicted in the attack had nothing to do with it.
His assertion has raised questions about whether the convictions of the five teens were just, and their lawyers have asked for court hearings with the goal of clearing their names.
DNA found on the jogger has linked Reyes to the attack, but some officials have speculated he may have attacked the woman after the five teens raped and beat her. No biological evidence from the teens has been found.
A lawyer for one of the five teens said he had not been aware of a similar incident two days before the jogger was attacked.
``No law enforcement officer gave us any information that there was a prior crime connected to our case, or might have been connected to it,″ Michael P. Joseph, who represented Antron McCray, told The Times.
The investigation into the April 17 attack was handled by the Police Department’s sex crimes unit, while Manhattan North Homicide handled the jogger’s case because she was not expected to survive the brutal attack.
Reyes, 31, was sentenced in 1991 to 33 1/3 years to life after pleading guilty to three rapes and to the rape-murder of a 24-year-old pregnant woman on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.