Korey Wise was one of the five boys wrongfully convicted of raping and beating Trisha Meili in Central Park on April 19, 1989. Korey has remained in New York City after his release from jail and exoneration, where he worked as a public speaker and criminal justice reform advocate.
Korey Wise’s Story
A 28-year-old female runner was viciously assaulted and raped in New York’s Central Park on April 19, 1989. She was discovered unconscious with a shattered skull. She had no recollection of the incident when she recovered. This matter blew up in the media. It was among the most publicized cases in the 1980s. The police and prosecution were under great pressure to solve the crime.
The police inquiry swiftly narrowed in on a group of Black and Latino teens, some of whom were already in police detention for prior disturbances in the park that night. Five youths — Yusef Salaam, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise – falsely confessed to being terrorists after lengthy police interrogation.
The next year, in two separate trials, all five adolescents were convicted of crimes related to the attack. Wise was prosecuted as an adult and convicted of assault and sexual abuse despite being just 16 years old. He was sentenced to between five and fifteen years in jail.
Wise encountered the true offender, Matias Reyes, in jail by coincidence while doing time for an unrelated sexual assault. Following their conversation, Reyes phoned his attorney, who then contacted the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and confessed to the Central Park assault. When Reyes met with the original police detectives and prosecutors, he revealed information about the crime that only the genuine offender would be aware of. Then there’s DNA testing, which wasn’t accessible at the time.
Korey Wise (born July 26, 1972, as Kharey Wise) is a criminal justice reform activist who travels the United States. Wise tells how he was wrongfully convicted in the Central Park jogger case (along with Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana Jr., Antron McCray, and Yusef Salaam) for the attack on Trisha Meili, a 28-year-old woman jogging in Central Park, as well as attacks on eight other people on the night of April 19, 1989. Wise was imprisoned for 14 years, from 1989 until his exoneration in 2002, maintaining his innocence.
Wise was the eldest of the so-called “Central Park Five” at 16 years old, and he was the only one among five to serve his whole term in the military.
What happened to Korey Wise when he was incarcerated?
Wise chose solitary imprisonment for his protection and survival. He spent lot of time in solitary confinement to avoid the hatred of his fellow inmates. He also seemed to become friends with Roberts (Logan Marshall-Green), a jail officer who sought to keep an eye out for him. Roberts again appeared in another jail to which Wise had been transported later in the show. Wise repeated requesting transfers to institutes closer to his family in New York, but he seemed to go further away each time.
Following their release, New York City agreed to give them a total compensation of $41 million, one million for each year they were imprisoned. According to the University of Michigan Law School, Korey Wise is slated to earn $12.25 million of the settlement. Korey Wise’s net worth is estimated to be $12 million.