Mark Denny, a New York man who spent almost 30 years in prison for a rape and robbery that he did not commit, is getting some semblance of justice now that New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has agreed to pay him $9.75 million in a settlement.
As part of the settlement, Denny agreed to surrender his right to sue the city and hold it responsible for his arrest and incarceration.
“It was in the best interest of the city to settle pre-litigation,” Hazel Crampton-Hays, a spokesperson from Stringer’s office told the Post.
The Night of the Crime
In December of 1987, Denny was only 17-years old when he, alongside three other men, were accused of robbing a Burger King in Brooklyn and raping an 18-year-old woman who worked there.
He was convicted in February 1989 on multiple charges, including rape, sodomy, robbery, and coercion, and sentenced to up to 57 years in prison.
Denny has long insisted that he was innocent; however, he would not be exonerated until December 2017, when a Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office investigation found that he had nothing to do with the incident.
In fact, Denny wasn’t even at the Burger King on the night of the crime, the Kings County district attorney’s Conviction Review Unit eventually determined.
Denny has since accused several NYPD detectives involved in the investigation of targeting and framing him, warning in a “notice of claim” filed in March 2018 of a potential $50 million lawsuit.
He also alleges that the NYPD falsified evidence and did not check his alibi. According to Denny, detectives “intentionally refused to investigate other obvious leads,” such as fingernail scrapings, hair, and other evidence collected at the crime scene.
Detectives also made “false representations” and used “outright suggestion to induce” the victim to identify him as an assailant during a “live lineup after she failed to identify [him] in a photo lineup…as one of the perpetrators,” according to the claim reported in the Post.
“The NYPD’s fabricated and/or coercive evidence, which was presented to the prosecution prior to trial through false written and oral reports and to the jury through their false testimony at trial, was the sole basis of Mr. Denny’s conviction,” the filing read.