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 SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • Ocasio-Cortez backs Bernie Sanders at rally in Queens

    Ocasio-Cortez backs Bernie Sanders at rally in Queens

    Saturday, October 19 2019 9:11 PM EDT2019-10-20 01:11:04 GMT
    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez showed support for who she thinks should be the next president of the United States as she attended a Bernie Sanders rally in Queens Saturday.
    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez showed support for who she thinks should be the next president of the United States as she attended a Bernie Sanders rally in Queens Saturday.
  • Your Oct. 16 storm photos

    Your Oct. 16 storm photos

    Storm photos Oct. 17Storm photos Oct. 17
    Storm photos Oct. 17Storm photos Oct. 17
    Heavy right and high winds swept through the tri-state area due to a large coast storm on the night of Oct. 16. Here are your photos from the storm.
    Heavy right and high winds swept through the tri-state area due to a large coast storm on the night of Oct. 16. Here are your photos from the storm.
  • Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.
    New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.
    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
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."