NEW YORK, JULY 16 -- Taking the witness stand with an unsteady gait, the woman known to most as the Central Park jogger made her first public appearance today in a Manhattan courtroom, saying she could not recall the bloody attack that nearly killed her 15 months ago.

The 30-year-old woman was composed and lucid, if slightly nervous, during prosecution questioning that lasted 15 minutes. She said she still has trouble walking, suffers from double vision and has lost her sense of smell.

Lawyers for the three Harlem youths charged with attempted murder, rape and sodomy in the April 1989 attack declined to cross-examine the witness.

The most obvious sign of the jogger's injuries is her right eye, which is slightly bulged and locked in a fixed stare, giving her a look of perpetual surprise. A crescent-shaped scar rings her left eye.

The jogger, who suffers from post-traumatic amnesia, said she has no recollection of being gang-raped and brutally beaten by a group of youths who left her in a muddy ravine near 102nd Street.

"Do you recall going jogging in Central Park on April 19, 1989?" asked prosecutor Elizabeth Lederer.

"No, I don't," the jogger said.

"Do you have any memory whatsoever of what happened to you in the park on April 19, 1989?"

"No, I do not."

The jogger, a vice president at the investment banking firm Salomon Brothers, never glanced to her right at the defendants -- Antron McCray, 15, Raymond Santana, 15, and Yusef Salaam, 16 -- who sat watching her without expression. At one point she flashed a tight-lipped smile to several colleagues in the audience.

Millions of people have followed the jogger's remarkable recovery since the nighttime "wilding" attack that turned her into a symbol of sexual brutality in New York. But despite her firm voice and professional appearance -- she wore a double-breasted purple silk suit, tiny gold earrings and a gold necklace -- it was clear that the physical aftereffects are very much with her.

"I have problems with balance when I'm walking, and coordination," the woman said, her hands clasped before her. "At times, as I'm walking down the hallway, I'll veer off to the right or the left. I also have a great deal of trouble going down steps. I have to hold onto the banister, or if there is another person there, I'll grab onto them.

"I also lost my sense of smell, completely and totally. That hasn't come back at all. I also suffer from double vision, and I compensate for it when I'm reading the papers, whatever I'm reading, {by moving it} over to the left."

When she was finished, the jogger placed her hand on the edge of the witness box to steady herself, but stumbled as she haltingly left the courtroom.

Although most news organizations have voluntarily withheld the jogger's name because of the nature of the crime, the public has learned much about her life in the past 15 months. She is from a devout Catholic family in Upper St. Clair, Pa. She was graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wellesley College, earned a master's degree at Yale and traveled around the world.

The jogger once worked with a Boston shelter for abused women and was a summer intern at the U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe. She joined the corporate finance department of Salomon Brothers in 1986, taking an apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

Robert Kurtz, the jogger's physician during her six-week stay at Metropolitan Hospital, has testified that "she hung onto life by a thread." He said her brain was extremely swollen, nearly all her blood had drained, her temperature was 85 degrees, her pulse faint and her body jerking uncontrollably when she was found.

After long-term therapy at a Connecticut hospital, the jogger resumed running and returned to her old job.

Until today, New York's most famous victim remained a nameless, phantom-like figure, and many believed the prosecution would not put her through the ordeal of testifying. The last image the jury had of her was from a photograph of her bloody face after it had been smashed with a brick.

After prosecutors called her as a witness without advance notice, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Thomas B. Galligan ordered sketch artists not to draw pictures during the jogger's testimony, saying he wanted to protect her privacy.

The jury listened closely as the jogger explained that she ran in Central Park after dark because she rose at 6 a.m., started work at 7:30 and had no chance to run until 8:30 or 9:30 at night.

"Running was something that I enjoyed to do quite a bit," the witness said. She said she ran six or seven miles almost every day, starting near her apartment in the East 80s and looping north toward the Harlem end of the park.

The jogger said the last thing she recalls on the day of the attack is a 5 p.m. phone call in which she told a friend that she couldn't go to dinner because she was working late.

Asked to describe her "very next memory," the jogger said: "I remember waking up in the hospital on a Friday evening late in May. A very good friend of mine was in the hospital and so was the nurse." That was Memorial Day weekend, nearly six weeks after the attack.

The jogger's expression changed only slightly when Lederer held up People's Exhibit 33, a crumpled shirt almost completely covered with reddish-brown blood stains. "That's the shirt that I used to wear" while jogging, the woman said.

"Prior to April 19, what color was this shirt?" Lederer asked.

"It was white."

The only part of the jogger's testimony that clearly bolstered the prosecution involved questions raised by the defense about whether she was raped. Some semen found on the jogger's clothing was determined to match that of her boyfriend.

The jogger said the last time she had sex before the April 19 attack was with her boyfriend three days earlier. She said she used a diaphragm, her usual method of birth control, and that when they went jogging afterward she wore her regular black jogging tights -- the ones recovered after the attack.

That account would appear to rule out the boyfriend as the source of semen found in the jogger's uterus. In a boost for the defense, however, an FBI official testified last week that none of the semen from the jogger's body or clothing matched that of the defendants.

After her testimony, the witness was driven from the courthouse, past a phalanx of photographers and television crews, in a white van with blacked-out windows.

Prosecutors have said the attack was not racially motivated, although the victim is white and the six youths charged are black and Hispanic. But an angry group of black spectators later shouted her boyfriend's name at reporters and asked, "Why are you trying to lynch these boys?"

A woman later screamed, "There is no proof that she was raped!"

Michael Joseph, McCray's lawyer, said cross-examining the jogger would have served no purpose because she provided no information about his client. He said any questions he had were "outweighed by the recognition that this is a woman who should not be put through anything further."