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Tawana Brawley Update: Woman begins paying former NY county prosecutor she falsely accused of rape in the 1980s

FILE - In this Oct. 8, 1988, file photo, Tawana Brawley speaks to reporters with her advisor the Rev. Al Sharpton in Chicago. A grand jury concluded Brawley's story of being raped in New York in 1987 was a hoax. The New York Post reports Brawley has begun making defamation payments to the ex-county prosecutor she accused of rape after he won a claim against her and her advisers, including the Rev. Al Sharpton. Brawley was initially ordered to pay $190,000 but now owes more than $400,000 with interest. (AP Photo/Mark Elias, File) Mark Elias

Tawana Brawley speaks to reporters with her advisor the Rev. Al Sharpton in Chicago on Oct. 8, 1988.
AP Photo/Mark Elias, File
(CBS/AP) NEW YORK - A black woman who set off a racial firestorm as a teenager after alleging she was raped by a group of white men in 1987 has begun making defamation payments to one of them.

Tawana Brawley has paid just over $3,700 to former county prosecutor Steven Pagones, the New York Post reported. Pagones won a claim against her and her advisers, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, after Pagones was named as an attacker.

Brawley went missing from her home in Wappingers Falls, New York when she was 15. After she was found, she claimed she had been abducted and sexually assaulted by white men, including at least one police officer, who smeared her with feces and scrawled racial epithets on her body.

The case quickly made headlines and drew the attention of Sharpton, who became an outspoken advocate for the teen.

A special state grand jury later determined that Brawley had fabricated her claims, perhaps to avoid punishment for staying out late.

Pagones then sued Brawley for defamation and won a $185,000 judgment. She now owes him more than $400,000 with interest.

Brawley, now 40, lives in Virginia and works as a nurse. The Post reported her location in December, and Pagones then filed papers to have her wages garnished for the payments owed him.

Her parents have insisted Brawley's claim of being raped was true.

  • Crimesider Staff

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