Research

New York State Office of the Special Prosecutor Tawana Brawley Case Investigation Records

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
Tawana Brawley, a black 15 year old from Wappingers Falls, New York, claimed in November 1987 that she was kidnapped, sexually abused, and raped by six white men. The accused were unnamed police officers. The series consists of records created during the investigation of the Department of Law's handling of the Tawana Brawley affair in Dutchess County. Records document the investigation, which was conducted under an executive order supersedeas, and the evidence uncovered and analyzed by investigators. Records are restricted.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
15 cubic feet
Inclusive Dates:
[circa 1989-1991]
Series Number:
17386

Arrangement

Alphabetical by subject.

Administrative History

Tawana Brawley, a black 15 year old from Wappingers Falls, New York, claimed in November 1987 that she was kidnapped, sexually abused and raped by six white men. The accused were unnamed police officers. Upon her discovery after a four-day absence she and her mother, Glenda Brawley, refused to cooperate with investigating authorities, claiming racism and demanding a prosecutor of their choice. This strategy, undertaken on advise of counsel, led to nationwide media attention. This included widespread speculation on Brawley's supposed exploitation by a cadre of advisors; allegations of a law enforcewment coverup; and discussion of general social and legal bias against rape victims. Major participants in the case included prosecutor Steven Pagones; Brawley's attorney Alton H. Maddox; and advisor Al Sharpton. A grand jury concluded Ms. Brawley's claim was a fabrication and dismissed the case during the autumn of 1988.

Scope and Content Note

The series consists of records created during the investigation of the Department of Law's handling of the Tawana Brawley affair in Dutchess County. Records document the investigation, which was conducted under an executive order supersedeas, and the evidence uncovered and analyzed by investigators.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

Restricted.

Access Terms

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