Settlement Talks Are on Tap in Central Park Five Case

, New York Law Journal

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Lawyers for the city and five men suing over their prosecution and imprisonment for the 1989 Central Park jogger attack are moving forward with talks that could result in a settlement of the case.

At a status conference on Tuesday, Southern District Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis (See Profile), who has been presiding over discovery in the contentious litigation, ordered a 30-day stay of proceedings so the parties could sit down and discuss a possible resolution once Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter takes office on Feb. 1, plaintiffs attorney Jonathan Moore of Beldock Levine & Hoffman said Wednesday.

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio promised that he would seek a settlement of the case when he introduced Carter as his Corporation Counsel in December.

The convictions of Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Kharey Wise, who were teenagers at the time of the attack on jogger Trisha Meili, were vacated in 2002 after a convicted rapist admitted to the crime.

The "Central Park Five" sued in 2003 for $250 million, claiming prosecutors and police pressured them into confessing to a crime they didn't commit.

Tuesday, Ellis told the parties to report back to him on the status of the case on Feb. 28. Any settlement would have to be approved by Judge Deborah Batts (See Profile).

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