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Grand Jury Rejects Claim of Racist Attack, Paper Says : Tawana Brawley Case Reportedly Bogus

September 27, 1988|United Press International

NEW YORK — A grand jury has found no evidence of kidnaping, rape or any other crime having been committed against Tawana Brawley, the black teen-ager who claimed she was attacked by a gang of white men, the New York Times reported in today's editions.

The newspaper said official summaries of the testimony of more than 100 witnesses and exhibits, including confidential medical and police reports and secretly taped telephone conversations, led investigators to conclude that:

--On Nov. 24, 1987, the night Brawley, then 15, said she was abducted, she decided not to return to her Wappingers Falls, N.Y., home and spent much of the next four days hiding out in a nearby vacant apartment from which her family had been evicted.

--Brawley, alone or with an accomplice, concocted the degrading condition in which she was found--smeared with dog feces, racial slurs written on her body, torn and scorched clothes--then crawled into a garbage bag and pretended to be in a traumatized daze.

--She tried for weeks to mislead doctors, authorities and the public with medical complaints and false accounts of horrors inflicted on her by racists--tales embellished by her family and advisers--then refused to cooperate with investigators in order to cover up her actions. Finally, she left the state.

Will Issue Report

The New York Times said the grand jury is in the last stages of its investigation and within a few weeks will issue a final report saying the probe, one of the most exhaustive ever conducted by the state, found no evidence Brawley was abducted, attacked or was the victim of any other crime.

Brawley's motives were unknown because of her refusal to testify, but evidence suggested she faked her disappearance because she feared the reaction of her mother's boyfriend over her late hours, use of drugs and "relationships with shady characters," the newspaper said.

Brawley contended she was abducted and sexually assaulted by six white men, one of whom had a police-like badge.

Investigators said the grand jury will not indict anyone. The report will not criticize Brawley or her family, the newspaper said, because it is illegal for the jury to criticize private citizens it does not indict.

Report Sent to Judge

The grand jury, scheduled to adjourn Oct. 7, completed its report Friday and sent it to state Supreme Court Justice Angelo Ingrassia, who will review it before authorizing its release, the paper said.

Investigators said the report will clear prosecutors and other officials whom Brawley's advisers have accused of involvement in an attack, the newspaper said.

On the advice of their attorneys, Brawley and her mother, Glenda, refused to cooperate with a state special prosecutor's investigation of her complaints, Atty. Gen. Robert Abrams said. He said the lawyers contended that blacks cannot receive justice in New York courts.

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