Tawana Brawley, whose rape allegations against a group of white men set off racial tensions in 1987, has begun to make defamation payments to one of her alleged attackers.
Now a nurse living in Virginia, Brawley paid $3,764.61 to former county prosecutor Steven Pagones, according to the New York Post. She must pay a total of $431,000 in damages. Reverand Al Sharpton and Alton Maddox, who were advocates for the teen during the case, are also paying Pagones.
“Finally, she’s paying something,” said Pagones’ attorney, Gary Bolnick, told the Post. “Symbolically, I think it’s very important — you can’t just do this stuff without consequences.”
On Nov. 28, 1987, Brawley was found in a trash bag, with the words “n----r” and “b---h” written on her body with feces. She told police she was abducted by two white men and dragged through the woods where four other men joined in raping her 33 times.
Brawley described one attacker as having blond hair and a badge. Fishkill police officer Harry Crist Jr., who had been found dead three days after the alleged attack, became a suspect in the case. Pagones, a prosecutor in Duchess county who defended his friend Crist, was later accused of being part of the mob of men who allegedly raped the teen.
Brawley's parents have insisted that her claims of being raped were true. A grand jury reached a conclusion in 1988 that her entire story was a hoax. They determined that Brawley, who lived in Wappingers Falls, New York, at the time, had runaway from home and made up the story to avoid being punished.
Brawley has remained out of the news spotlight since the alleged incident 25 years ago.
The New York Post reports:
Before The Post came knocking, not even her own co-workers knew she was the teen behind the spectacular 1987 case.
“I don’t want to talk to anyone about that,” Brawley growled after a Post reporter confronted her about her sordid past in December.
Employing aliases including Tawana Thompson and Tawana Gutierrez, she leads a relatively normal life by all appearances, residing in a neat brick apartment complex and working as a licensed practical nurse at The Laurels of Bon Air in Richmond.
She’s also raising a daughter, a neighbor said.
Read full story here.
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(Photo: AP Photo/Mark Elias, File)