The Manhattan district attorney’s office on Monday announced that the conviction of a lesser-known co-defendant in the Central Park jogger case was overturned, the first exoneration under Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg.
Steven Lopez was exonerated in response to requests by both Lopez’s attorney and prosecutors at a court hearing in Manhattan.
A forgotten co-defendant of the Central Park Five, who, like them, was charged with the rape of a jogger in a case that shook New York City and the nation, had a related conviction overturned Monday in downtown Manhattan.
“All of the factors taken together – as set forth in our motion papers – show what the people believe are unique circumstances, combined with Mr. Lopez’s youth, made his plea involuntary – and therefore unconstitutional,” said D.A. Bragg.
D.A. Bragg moved to vacate the guilty plea and dismiss the indictment against Steven Lopez, one of the teenagers charged in the 1989 Central Park jogger case. A conviction based on an unconstitutional plea cannot stand.