As it relates to race relations in America, the name Tawana Brawley is very familiar to most across the country. Brawley who is now 41-year-old and a professional nurse became a household name in 1987. As a minor, at the age of 15-year-old, and while living in Wappingers Falls, New York with her parents, she accused Steven Pagones and five white men of having raped her. In court document, Brawley claimed she had been sexually assaulted by the men who smeared her with feces and scribbled racial epithets on her body.
On October 6, 1988, after an investigation into Brawley’s claims, the Abrams Grand Jury released its extensive and thorough 170 page report concluding that,
“Tawana Brawley ("Brawley") had not been abducted, assaulted, raped and sodomized as had been claimed by Brawley and her advisors. The report further concluded that the "unsworn public allegations against Dutchess County Assistant District Attorney Steven Pagones" were false and had no basis in fact. To issue the report, the Grand Jury heard from 180 witnesses, saw 250 exhibits and recorded over 6,000 pages of testimony.”
Brawley’s parents are still insisting their daughter’s claim of being raped was true.
One of the five defendants, Pagones, later sued and won slander lawsuit against Brawley, a minor; her lawyers, C. Vernon Mason; Rev. Sharpton and Alton Maddox Jr.
According to the FreeRepublic.com:
“The court ordered Sharpton to pay $65,000 to Pagones. The Reverend promptly announced his intention not to pay. A couple years later, Sharpton’s buddies passed the hat and paid off Sharpton’s debt, which totaled $87,000 with interest and penalties. To this day, never having paid one penny of his own to Pagones, Sharpton refuses to apologize, “I did what I believed….They are asking me to grovel. They want black children to say they forced a black man coming out of the hard-core ghetto to his knees….Once you begin bending, it’s ‘did you bend today?’ or ‘I missed the apology, say it again.’ Once you start compromising, you lose respect for yourself.”
The judgment against Brawley was $185,000. Over the years and with accrued interest, the amount she now owes Pagones has skyrocketed to little more than $431,000.
In December the New York Post reported Brawley’s address and Pagones then filed papers to have her wages garnished for the payments owed him. According to the Post,
“Employing aliases including Tawana Thompson and Tawana Gutierrez, she leads a relatively normal life by all appearances, residing in a neat brick apartment complex and working as a licensed practical nurse at The Laurels of Bon Air in Richmond.”
The New York Post is also reporting that Brawley has since made payment of just over $3,700 to Pagones.
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