Central Park 5 member delivers keynote to graduating class

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

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.

  • Brooklyn EducationEducationMore>>

  • Brooklyn Public Library hosts ‘90s-themed party

    Brooklyn Public Library hosts ‘90s-themed party

    Saturday, April 21 2018 10:53 PM EDT2018-04-22 02:53:40 GMT
    A '90s-themed party planned entirely by teens took over a public library main branch Saturday.A '90s-themed party planned entirely by teens took over a public library main branch Saturday.
    A '90s-themed party planned entirely by teens took over a public library main branch Saturday.A '90s-themed party planned entirely by teens took over a public library main branch Saturday.

    A '90s-themed party planned entirely by teens took over a public library main branch Saturday in Prospect Heights. 

    A '90s-themed party planned entirely by teens took over a public library main branch Saturday in Prospect Heights. 

  • Cool at School: Kindergarteners learn to code

    Cool at School: Kindergarteners learn to code

    Wednesday, April 18 2018 7:30 AM EDT2018-04-18 11:30:38 GMT

    Kindergarteners in Brooklyn are learning to code. 

    Kindergarteners in Brooklyn are learning to code. 

  • Popular Brooklyn after-school program in jeopardy

    Popular Brooklyn after-school program in jeopardy

    Tuesday, April 17 2018 6:23 PM EDT2018-04-17 22:23:11 GMT
    A popular after-school program in Bed-Stuy is in jeopardy if the Department of Education decides to make way for a charter school.A popular after-school program in Bed-Stuy is in jeopardy if the Department of Education decides to make way for a charter school.
    A popular after-school program in Bed-Stuy is in jeopardy if the Department of Education decides to make way for a charter school.A popular after-school program in Bed-Stuy is in jeopardy if the Department of Education decides to make way for a charter school.

    A popular after-school program in Bed-Stuy is in jeopardy if the Department of Education decides to make way for a charter school.

    A popular after-school program in Bed-Stuy is in jeopardy if the Department of Education decides to make way for a charter school.

  • Brooklyn SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Global Premiere for 'Avengers: Infinity War'

    Global Premiere for 'Avengers: Infinity War'

    The Los Angeles Global Premiere for Marvel Studios? "Avengers: Infinity War" on April 23, 2018 in Hollywood, California.The Los Angeles Global Premiere for Marvel Studios? "Avengers: Infinity War" on April 23, 2018 in Hollywood, California.
    The Los Angeles Global Premiere for Marvel Studios? "Avengers: Infinity War" on April 23, 2018 in Hollywood, California.The Los Angeles Global Premiere for Marvel Studios? "Avengers: Infinity War" on April 23, 2018 in Hollywood, California.

    The Los Angeles Global Premiere for Marvel Studios' "Avengers: Infinity War" was on April 23, 2018 in Hollywood, California.

    The Los Angeles Global Premiere for Marvel Studios' "Avengers: Infinity War" was on April 23, 2018 in Hollywood, California.

  • President Trump hosts 1st state dinner

    President Trump hosts 1st state dinner

    U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump welcomed French President Emmanuel Macron and French first lady Brigitte Macron for the state dinner during visit to the White House.U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump welcomed French President Emmanuel Macron and French first lady Brigitte Macron for the state dinner during visit to the White House.

    U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump welcomed French President Emmanuel Macron and French first lady Brigitte Macron for the state dinner during visit to the White House.

    U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump welcomed French President Emmanuel Macron and French first lady Brigitte Macron for the state dinner during visit to the White House.

  • Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcome baby boy

    Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcome baby boy

    It's the third child for Kate and Prince William, and he's fifth in line to the British throne.

    It's the third child for Kate and Prince William, and he's fifth in line to the British throne.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® 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®, Spectrum Networks® 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."