Central Park 5 member delivers keynote to graduating class

Posted: Updated:
THE BRONX -

After being wrongfully convicted of a brutal crime as a teenager and spending years in prison, one of the boys in the group known as the Central Park Five told his story as an adult to a high school graduating class.

Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson and Yusef Salaam went to jail before they graduated high school themselves. They were convicted of brutally beating and raping a 28-year-old female jogger in Central Park in 1989, along with two other teens. They were tried and convicted almost exclusively on their own confessions, which the boys testified were coerced by detectives. None of their DNA matched the DNA found on the victim.

Salaam, now a motivational speaker, delivered the graduation keynote address Monday to students of Bronx Preparatory Charter School at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts.

There wound up being a light at the end of the tunnel for the Central Park Five. A convicted murderer and rapist confessed to the crime in 2002, and his DNA matched that found in the semen on the victim. The boys were exonerated, and they are now receiving honorary high school diplomas.

The two other members of the Central Park Five, who also came to the graduation ceremony, are also doing well. One just launched a clothing line and the other is working in real estate.

  • SlideshowsMore>>

  • Consumer safety group WATCH unveils its 'worst toys' list

    Consumer safety group WATCH unveils its 'worst toys' list

    Tuesday, November 14 2017 4:36 PM EST2017-11-14 21:36:23 GMT
    Tuesday, November 14 2017 4:42 PM EST2017-11-14 21:42:55 GMT
    The Nerf Zombie Strike Deadbolt Crossbow is one of the toy's listed by W.A.T.C.H. as being potentially hazardous.The Nerf Zombie Strike Deadbolt Crossbow is one of the toy's listed by W.A.T.C.H. as being potentially hazardous.

    A Boston-based child safety group is releasing its annual holiday list of the ten most hazardous toys.

    A Boston-based child safety group is releasing its annual holiday list of the ten most hazardous toys.

  • Photos: MTV EMAs 2017

    Photos: MTV EMAs 2017

    The MTV EMAs 2017 were held at The SSE Arena, Wembley on Nov. 12, 2017 in London, England.

    The MTV EMAs 2017 were held at The SSE Arena, Wembley on Nov. 12, 2017 in London, England.

  • Rockefeller Center Christmas tree arrives in NYC

    Rockefeller Center Christmas tree arrives in NYC

    The giant Rockefeller Center tree arrived Saturday. It was raised off a trailer and hoisted into place by a crane.

    The giant Rockefeller Center tree arrived Saturday. It was raised off a trailer and hoisted into place by a crane.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."