Claims Spurred Racial Controversy In Late 1980s

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Tawana Brawley, the woman who was the center of a racial controversy involving rape allegations a quarter century ago, has begun making payments to a man who won a defamation judgment against her.

Brawley has paid $3,764.61 to former prosecutor Steven Pagones, according to a New York Post report.

In 1987 when she was 15, Brawley went missing from her home in upstate Wappingers Falls. After she was found, she claimed she had been abducted and raped by a group of white men – including at least one police officer. Brawley is black.

The allegations set off a racial firestorm, but a grand jury ultimately decided they were false.

Pagones, a county prosecutor at the time, later won a claim against Brawley and her advisers after he was named as one of the attackers.

She was initially ordered to pay $190,000 but now owes more than $400,000 with interest.

Brawley, 40, now lives in Virginia and works as a nurse.

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