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>>

  • 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards

    23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards

    The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

    The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

    The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

  • Aftermath of California mudslides

    Aftermath of California mudslides

    An abandoned car sits in mud following a mudslide on January 10, 2018 in Montecito, California.An abandoned car sits in mud following a mudslide on January 10, 2018 in Montecito, California.

    The deadly mudslides that ravaged Montecito came a month after a massive wildfire drove many residents from their homes and blackened the nearby mountains. With no vegetation left to absorb the rain, the slides came quickly in the midst of a torrential downpour.

    The deadly mudslides that ravaged Montecito came a month after a massive wildfire drove many residents from their homes and blackened the nearby mountains. With no vegetation left to absorb the rain, the slides came quickly in the midst of a torrential downpour.

  • Sights and scenes at the 75th Golden Globe Awards

    Sights and scenes at the 75th Golden Globe Awards

    The 75th Golden Globe Awards were held Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, with host Seth Meyers.The 75th Golden Globe Awards were held Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, with host Seth Meyers.

    The 75th Golden Globe Awards were held Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, with host Seth Meyers.

    The 75th Golden Globe Awards were held Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, with host Seth Meyers.

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 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account 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."