Steven Pagones is a former Assistant District Attorney in Dutchess County, New York who was accused in 1987 by Tawana Brawley of raping her. A grand jury investigation concluded that Brawley had not been the victim of an attack and, though never proved, may have simulated the appearance of an attack herself.
Pagones subsequently filed a civil suit against Al Sharpton and lawyers C. Vernon Mason and Alton H. Maddox, seeking $395 million in damages for 22 alleged defamatory statements. On July 13, 1998, after an eight-month trial, a jury found Sharpton liable for defamation for seven of the statements, Mason for one, and Maddox for two. On July 29, 1998, the jury awarded Pagones a total of $345,000 in damages. Sharpton was found liable for $65,000 of the amount, Maddox for $95,000, and Mason for $185,000.
Pagones went on to become an Assistant State Attorney General.
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