-- As prosecutors moved closer to a decision on throwing out the convictions of five youths in the rape and beating of a Central Park jogger, police questioned the credibility of the man who recently confessed to the crime.
Officials with the Manhattan district attorney's office and the police department met today to compare notes on their separate reviews of the case. The closed-door meeting comes three days before the district attorney's office is due in court to announce its decision.
Prosecutors are considering asking a judge to vacate the convictions based on the recent confession of a jailed rapist, Matias Reyes, that he alone attacked the victim, an investment banker who was then 28, in Central Park on the night of April 19, 1989.
DNA evidence has since linked him to the crime. The new forensic tests, more precise than those used a decade ago, have failed to link the five defendants to the rape.
Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau has said that if the facts warrant, he may agree to set aside the convictions.
Police sources said that at today's meeting, officials with the district attorney's office said they had not reached a conclusion, but police were left with the impression the rape convictions would be vacated.
Police officials are opposed to a total exoneration of the defendants, four of whom had made videotaped confessions.
Defense attorneys contend that detectives coerced the confessions.