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Central Park Jogger Reveals Identity

The woman at the center of the Central Park jogger case is breaking her 14-year silence and revealing her identity, and she says the reopening of the case in the past year made her live the horror as never before.

Trisha Meili, 42, is coming out of anonymity at the same time her book, entitled "I Am the Central Park Jogger: A Story of Hope and Possibility" is being released, The New York Daily News reported Friday.

The book, being published next month by Simon and Schuster, is a memoir of her ordeal and her recovery. In it, she recounts the trial of the five teenagers who were originally convicted in the case, and her reaction when another man said last year he was the culprit.

"I was living the horror as I had not lived it before, since I had been beaten into a coma the first time around," she wrote.

Meili, an investment banker with dual master's degrees from Yale, was attacked and raped on April 19, 1989, while jogging in Central Park. Then 28, she suffered brain damage, lost at least three-fourths of her blood and spent two weeks in a coma, doctors said. She has no memory of the attack.

Five teenagers, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Kharey Wise and Kevin Richardson, were arraigned after four of them made incriminating videotaped statements to police about the attack. Genetic evidence found on Meili later failed to connect the attack with the youths, but they were eventually convicted and served up to 11½ years in prison.

Last year, however, Matias Reyes, a man serving time for murder and serial rape, claimed that he was the attacker, and DNA evidence linked him to the crime. The five men's convictions were thrown out at the district attorney's request.

The police department said it was possible both Reyes and the teens attacked the jogger, but the prosecutor's office said there was "substantial reason" to believe Reyes' claim that he acted alone.

Meili wrote that upon learning about Reyes' confession, she was "too stunned to respond."

"Reyes became real to me in a way the five had not," she wrote. "I didn't want to see him in the papers or hear him talk on the television."

Referring to other crimes which Reyes had been convicted of, she wrote, "He had murdered a woman and raped more, forcing some at knifepoint to make a choice: 'Your eyes or your life.' How the hell did I survive?"

She says she is happily married, has left investment banking and hopes to devote herself to helping others overcome traumatic events. The book, she says, is part of that effort.

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