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Woman admits she lied about rape accusation — 27 years after two men were convicted

Two men convicted of raping a woman in 1991 were exonerated after the woman admitted she lied, and DNA evidence proved they did not commit the crime. (Image source: WCBS-TV video screenshot)

Two men spent years behind bars, convicted of raping a woman in 1991. After they served their sentences, their accuser admitted she made the whole thing up, WCBS-TV reported.

Gregory Counts and VanDyke Perry were in prison for 26 and 10 years, respectively, after being convicted of sexually assaulting a woman in Central Park, and now have had their convictions overturned.

What's the story?

A woman accused Counts and Perry, then 19- and 21-years-old, of kidnapping her from her home and taking turns raping her in Central Park.

As it turns out, the woman knew Counts and Perry and lied about being raped at the instruction of her boyfriend at the time, who, District Attorney Cyrus Vance said, "was trying to avoid paying a debt to these two men."

"The plaintiff now admits that her boyfriend forced her to lie and falsely claim that these men sexually assaulted her," Vance said. The woman was a prostitute at the time of the assault.

A re-testing of DNA evidence revealed that it matched a man who is now dead.

'Never going to be over'

While the men were relieved to have their names cleared, the exoneration came too late to spare them years in prison for a crime they didn't commit.

Perry was released in 2001 on parole, and Counts was released in 2017 on parole. Counts called the time behind bars "torture."

"I thank God at the highest level," Counts said. "I give thanks to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that I have my family and my family stood by me all this time through the whole process."

Perry now owns a landscaping business and is married with six children in Washington, but is still burdened by the wrongful conviction.

"It's never going to be over," Perry told WCBS. "The reason why, because it tormented my life and it's past, you understand?"

Both men plan to seek restitution, according to WCBS.

One last thing…
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