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Tawana Brawley found after decades, served court order for defamation case

- The Washington Times - Friday, February 1, 2013

It may have taken more than two decades, but Tawana Brawley — who falsely accused New York prosecutor Steven Pagones of rape — was tracked down and given a court order to settle a defamation case against her.

Racial tensions flared in 1987 when Ms. Brawley, her lawyers and the Rev. Al Sharpton accused a group of white men of covering her in feces and writing epithets on her body. A grand jury found that Ms. Brawley had fabricated the story and in 1998, Pagones was awarded $185,000 in damages — none of which has been paid.

An investigation by the New York Post led the paper to Hopewell, Va., where she was working as a nurse under the name Tawana Vacenia Thompson Gutierrez. Due to the interest that has accumulated over 25 years, Ms. Brawley owes Pagones roughly $430,000.

"For at least 25 years, she has been living a major lie," Mr. Pagones told the Post, adding that he would be willing to waive the money due to him if she confessed.

"If she is not going to tell the truth, then it is about the money. That is the only way to hold her accountable," he said.

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