Tawana Brawley, second from right, declares, “I am not a liar,” in Newark, New Jersey, September 29, 1988, during her first news conference since the case surfaced last November. Looking on from left are, Alton Maddox, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Glenda Brawley at far right.
Brawley, 15, from Wappinger Falls, New York, accused four white men of rape after being missing for four days in November 1987. The case received widespread national attention after she was found in a trash bag, covered in racial slurs and feces. In October 1988, after hearing from 180 witnesses, a grand jury decided that Brawley had not been a victim of an attack, but created the appearance of one. A New York prosecutor was one of those accused by the teenager. He later successfully sued.