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Archive for Monday, November 19, 2007

Family of Tawana Brawley wants to revisit infamous N.Y. rape case

November 19, 2007

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— Twenty years after her allegations of a racially charged rape became a national flashpoint, Tawana Brawley's mother and stepfather want to reopen the case, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Glenda Brawley and Ralph King want to press Gov. Eliot Spitzer and state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to re-examine the November 1987 incident, which a state grand jury ultimately concluded was a hoax, the Daily News reported.

"New York State owes my daughter. They owe her the truth," said Glenda Brawley. She reiterated her stance that her daughter was indeed raped by a group of white men who smeared her with feces and scrawled racial epithets on her body.

A message left at Cuomo's office by The Associated Press on Sunday was not returned. A spokesman for Spitzer said his office was not aware of any formal request from the family. The governor's office is not normally involved in investigating crime.

Brawley was 15 when she went missing for four days from her home in Wappingers Falls, about 75 miles north of New York City. After being found, she made the shocking allegation that she had been abducted and raped by six white law enforcement officials.

The case quickly made headlines and drew the attention of the Rev. Al Sharpton, who became an outspoken advocate for the teen.

But a special state grand jury found evidence Brawley had fabricated her story. A former Dutchess County prosecutor who had been implicated in the case later sued Brawley, Sharpton and other Brawley advisers for defamation, winning a $345,000 judgment against the advisers and a $185,000 judgment against Brawley.

Sharpton and the prosecutor could not be reached for comment Sunday.

Brawley has changed her name and become a nurse, the Daily News reported.

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