Donald Trump still believes that the Central Park Five were guilty.
The group of five teenage boys were arrested in 1989 after a jogger was found tied up, stripped and suffering from both hypothermia and brain damage after having been raped and beaten with a rock. The five teens were in the park at the time and were questioned for over two days before police said that they confessed to the crime.
However, the teens claimed that they had been deprived of both food and sleep while being questioned, and none of them actually confessed to the rape themselves, instead pointing fingers at each other.
In 2002, another man confessed to the rape and assault, and DNA matched him to semen found on the victim. There was no DNA evidence to tie any of the five teens to the crime. All five were exonerated and received a $41 million settlement in 2014.
At the time the rape and assault hit the news, just two weeks after the attack, Trump bought out full-page ads in four newspapers that read, “Bring Back The Death Penalty. Bring Back Our Police!”
“I want to hate these muggers and murderers,” he wrote. “They should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes. They must serve as examples so that others will think long and hard before committing a crime or an act of violence.”
Even after the Central Park Five were exonerated, though, Trump is doubling down on his stance.
“They admitted they were guilty,” Trump told CNN’s Miguel Marquez. “The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous. And the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same.”
On Friday, one of the Central Park Five blasted Trump in a series of messages on Twitter.
“What more do we have to prove? I’m tired of proving our innocence! I don’t care what this a–hole thinks,” tweeted Raymond Santana.
He added that the Republican presidential nominee “will never get the black & Latino” vote.