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Antron McCray  

One of the Central Park Five

On April 19, 1989, a young woman in the prime of her life was brutally raped and left for dead in one of New York City’s most iconic spaces, Central Park. Five teens from Harlem—four black and one Latino—were tried and convicted of the crime in one of the most frenzied cases in the city’s history. The woman was dubbed the “Central Park jogger” and the accused teens became known collectively as the “Central Park Five.” One of those boys was Antron McCray, who was just 15-years-old when his life was upended and changed forever. McCray was tried as a juvenile and convicted of rape and assault.

In 2002, after the Central Park Five spent between seven and 13 years of their lives behind bars, the sentences of the boys — now men — were overturned. Convicted murderer and serial rapist Matias Reyes, already serving a life sentence at the time, confessed to the Central Park attack. The unidentified DNA in the Central Park Jogger case - known to be unlinked to any of the five - had finally met its owner, and the Central Park Five were fully exonerated.

Following the exoneration of the five men, the City of New York agreed to pay them a settlement of $41 million, which was approximately one million for each of their years spent in prison. Per the University of Michigan Law School, McCray was set to receive $7.125 million of that settlement. "When They See Us," a four part series on Netflix directed by Ava DuVernay, explores the famous and heartbreaking historical event.

McCray now lives in Georgia with his wife and family, according to The Innocence Project. He has largely stayed out of the spotlight since being released from prison. When interviewed by CBS in 2019, McCray explained how his wrongful conviction has impacted the way he parents his own children. He said, “I preach to my kids, ‘Just tell the truth. Be true to who you are.’ Honestly, the last time I lied, got me seven-and-a-half years for something I didn’t do.”

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