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Family Wants Tawana Brawley Rape Case Reopened, 20 Years Later

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The mother and stepfather of Tawana Brawley, the young woman who 20 years ago alleged she was kidnapped and raped by a group of White police officers, say the case should be reopened, The New York Daily News reported this week.

Glenda Brawley and Ralph King said they want New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to revisit the November 1987 incident, which a state grand jury concluded to be fabricated by the then 15-year-old girl from Upstate New York.

“How could we make this up and take down the state of New York? We’re just regular people,” said Glenda Brawley, according to the Daily News. “We should be millionaires.” Brawley stands by the position that her daughter was raped, smeared with feces and had racial epithets scribbled on her body. She and her husband allege that there is evidence in sealed files proving the rape occurred and that the state tried to cover it up.

At the time of the allegations, the case garnered national headlines and the passionate support of the Rev. Al Sharpton. After the state grand jury ruled Brawley’s story to be a hoax, a prosecutor implicated in the case won nearly half a million dollars from Brawley, her advisors and Sharpton in a defamation case. Sharpton has not commented on the family’s request to reopen the case.

Brawley, now 35, has changed her name and works as a nurse.

“New York State owes my daughter,” Brawley said. “They owe her the truth.”

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