The top sexual crimes prosecutor for the 1989 case in New York City involving five Black and Latino teens who were wrongfully convicted in the rape and beating of a white female jogger has been dropped by her book publisher.
Linda Fairstein, who is portrayed in Ava DuVernay’s current Netflix miniseries “When They See Us,” observed the boys’ interrogation which was conducted by another prosecutor and police. While Fairstein personally did not try the case, she went on to become a best-selling crime novelist.
The coerced confessions and convictions of the teens — known as the “Central Park Five” — were overturned in 2002 after convicted murderer and serial rapist Matias Reyes confessed to committing the crime. Although the boys spent years in jail, the city of New York never admitted any wrongdoing.
A spokeswoman for the Dutton publishing boutique confirmed that it had “terminated its relationship” with Fairfield. As backlash mounted on social media, Fairfield was also forced to resign from at least two not-for-profit boards.
Fairstein, who has denied the teens were coerced, has defended authorities’ conduct in the case.