30 Years Ago the Hudson Valley Got Caught in National Spotlight For this Case
It was November of 1987, when the Hudson Valley and then the entire world learned of a young lady named Tawana Brawley. According to several news stories, it was November 29, 1987 that Tawana was found unconscious and unresponsive, wrapped in a garbage bag, covered with racial slurs that had been written on her body, along with fecal matter.
She was taken to the hospital where she told cops that she had been sexually assaulted repeatedly in the woods by three white males. Forensic evidence was not able to support those claims. Within one month Brawley being found in front of her Wappingers Falls apartment building, over 1,000 people were marching in support of her case along the streets of Newburgh.
While Brawleys legal team was working hard to prove her case, three high profiled 'concerned citizens' helped with her publicity. Those citizens were civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton, along with attorneys Alton H. Maddox and C. Vernon Mason.
October 1988, almost one year later, a New York Grand Jury, released a report citing that it was highly un-probable that the events Brawley claimed had actually taken place.
Several civil suits later, Brawley was ordered to pay restitution to many of the individuals she had made the claims against.