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Tawana Brawley is Hiding in Virginia 25 years after Historic gang Rape Case that Turned Out to be a Hoax

Twenty-five years after Tawana Brawley’s  claims of being raped by a gang of white men polarised New York City, the woman  has been tracked down living in hiding in Virginia.

On November 28, 1987, the then-15-year-old  was found in a trash bag, dazed, smeared with feces with the word n****r  scrawled on her body.

She told police she had been abducted by two  white men and driven to the woods where they and four others ravaged her for  four days – one of which had a badge.

The case was catapulted onto the national  stage by attorneys Alton H. Maddox and C. Vernon Mason, and the  then-little-known Rev. Al Sharpton, who claimed she was raped 33  times.

Celebrities weighed in, with Bill Cosby  posting a $25,000 reward for information on the case, Don King promised $100,000  for Brawley’s education and boxer Mike Tyson gave her a $30,000 watch to ease  her pain.

Racial tensions: Rev Al Sharpton catapulted the case of Tawana Brawley, centre, onto the main stage (Inset – The New York Post tracked down Tawana Brawley, pictured, in Hopewell, Virginia, 25 years after her historic gang rape hoax)

Fishkill Police Officer Harry Crist Jr. was  implicated after being found dead in his apartment a week after Brawley was  discovered, and Dutchess County prosecutor Steven Pagones was also accused when  he stepped in with an alibi for the 28-year-old. 

But in 1988 a grand jury found the whole  shocking story was a hoax, and Brawley was never raped.

Now 40 years old, The New York  Post has tracked her down working as  a nurse in Virginia.

‘I don’t want to talk to anyone about that,’  Brawley told the newspaper recently as she emerged from her apartment in  Hopewell, Virginia, wearing scrubs.

She lives what appears to be a relatively  normal life in a neatly kept brick apartment complex with signs warning of video  surveillance cameras.

To avoid detection, Brawley goes by the  aliases of Thompson and Gutierrez and has a young daughter, a neighbor told the  Post.

She reportedly works as a licensed practical  nurse at The Laurels of Bon Air in Richmond.  But her co-workers have been in the dark about the incredible story of  brutality, which turned out to be false.

‘Are you serious? We don’t know her by that  name. Isn’t that a trip?’ one staffer said, adding that the woman who they call  Tawana Gutierrez was ‘a good worker.’

According to a neighbor, Brawley has lived in  Hopewell – Virginia’s most crime-laden town – for at least a year.

‘Tawana V. Gutierrez’ and ‘Tawana V.  Thompson’ have held the same nursing license since 2006, state records  show. The Virginia Board of Nursing  confirmed issuing it to a ‘Tawana Vacenia Thompson Gutierrez.’

Brawley maintains a PO box in Claremont, Va.,  under the name Gutierrez, according to The Post’s sources.

The grand jury panel, which heard from 180  witnesses over its seven-month investigation, found that Brawley made up the  story to avoid being punished for staying out late and missing  school.

They found evidence she had ran away from  home and was hiding out in her parents’ former apartment after they got  evicted.

Many believed that Brawley feared her stepdad  Ralph King’s and needed an alibi for her absence.  King spent seven years in prison in the 1970s for killing his first  wife.

Traces of the charcoal-like material used to  scrawl the hateful word on her body were found under her fingernails, and she  showed no signs of genital trauma or exposure, the jury found. One witness said  Brawley was spotted climbing into the bin bag.

Source: The Daily Mail

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Posted by on December 23, 2012. Filed under NY News,Slider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.