Who is Antron McCray? Central Park Five Victim Betrayed by His Father in 'When They See Us'

The terrifying true story of the 'Central Park Five' has been grippingly told in new Netflix series When They See Us. Written and directed by Ava DuVernay, the four-part miniseries focuses on the five black teenagers, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise, who were wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for the rape and assault of 28-year-old Trisha Meili in New York's Central Park in 1989.

One of the saddest stories in the show is that of Antron McCray and how his relationship with his father Bobby McCray deteriorated upon being arrested by police.

Antron McCray was just 15-year-old when he was arrested in connection with the rape of Trisha Meili in Central Park on April 19, 1989. He, along with Richardson, Salaam, Santana and Wise were all coerced into giving false confessions by police. And in the case of McCray, it was his own father that instructed him to own up to a crime he did not commit.

Played by Michael K. Williams in the show, Bobby McCray testified in 1990 that he directed his son to confess as he believed doing so would mean the police would let him go.

In his testimony reported by the New York Times, McCray said, ''They told him to tell them what they wanted to know, to cooperate and maybe become a witness, then he could go home. 'If he didn't, he was going to jail.''

Antron McCray When They See Us
Antron McCray was just 15-year-old when wrongfully convicted for the rape and assault of Trisha Meili. Getty Images/Taylor Hill

Speaking to CBS News, McCray talked about the sense of betrayal he felt from his father.

"I just kept telling the truth at first. They asked to speak to my father. My father left the room with them. Came back in the room, he just changed. Cursing, yelling at me. And he said, 'Tell these people what they wanna hear so you go home.' I'm like, 'Dad, but I didn't do anything.' The police is yelling at me. My father yelling at me. And I just like, 'All right. I did it.' And I looked up to my father. He is my hero. But he gave up on me. You know, I was telling the truth and he just told me to lie," he said.

McCray was sentenced to five-10 years in prison and would end up serving six years behind bars. He and the other four convicted were not exonerated of their crimes until 2002, when a DNA sample from serial rapist and murderer Matias Reyes, coupled with his confession that he attacked Meili alone, led to their convictions being overturned.

The following year the five men sued New York City for malicious prosecution, racial discrimination and emotional distress, with the case being settled for $41 million in 2014. Now aged 45, McCray lives in Georgia with his family and works as a forklift operator.

In an interview with the New York Times, McCray said watching the show was a painful experience and that what happened with his father "eats me up every day."
"I struggle with [my feelings toward my father]. Sometimes I love him. Most of the time, I hate him," he said. "I lost a lot, you know, for something I didn't do. He just flipped on me, and I just can't get past that. It's real hard. I did seven and a half years [including time spent detained during the trial] for something I didn't do, and I just can't get over it," McCray added.