Tawana Brawley says she will continue to fight

August 16, 1998|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK -- Ending the silence that kept her away from the courtroom during the recent trial of a lawsuit against her former advisers, Tawana Brawley said Friday night at a ceremony in Brooklyn that her fight for justice is just beginning and insisted that 10 years ago she was the victim of a vicious crime.

"A crime was committed to me," she said. "A crime was committed to the people.

"The press has lied to you. They have lied on me.

"You should be upset because I'm very upset. And I'm tired of it."

Brawley, 25, spoke during a banquet in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the United African Movement, an organization that was created as a protest group supporting her cause.

Her remarks, which were broadcast by New York 1, the cable news channel, came less than a month after a jury in Dutchess County ordered three of Brawley's advisers -- the Rev. Al Sharpton, C. Vernon Mason and Alton Maddox Jr. -- to pay $345,000 to Steven Pagones, a former prosecutor whom they had accused of being part of a group of white men who they said kidnapped and raped Brawley in 1987.

Brawley, whose story of being attacked when she was a teen-ager was discredited by a special grand jury in 1988, said her quest for justice is not over.

Pub Date: 8/16/98

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