Aug. 4, 2013
Twenty-five years after accusing an innocent man of rape, Tawana Brawley is finally paying for her lies.
Last week, 10 checks totaling $3,764.61 were delivered to ex-prosecutor Steven Pagones — the first payments Brawley has made since a court determined in 1998 that she defamed him with her vicious hoax.
A Virginia court this year ordered the money garnisheed from six months of Brawley’s wages as a nurse there.
She still owes Pagones $431,000 in damages. And she remains defiantly unapologetic.
“It’s a long time coming,” said Pagones, 52, who to this day is more interested in extracting a confession from Brawley than cash.
Brawley’s advisers in the infamous race-baiting case — the Rev. Al Sharpton, and attorneys C. Vernon Mason and Alton Maddox — have already paid, or are paying, their defamation debt. But Brawley, 41, had eluded punishment.
She’s now forced to pay Pagones $627 each month, possibly for the rest of her life. Under Virginia law, she can appeal the wage garnishment every six months.
“Finally, she’s paying something,” said Pagones’ attorney, Gary Bolnick. “Symbolically, I think it’s very important — you can’t just do this stuff without consequences.”
Pagones filed for the garnishment with the circuit court in Surry County, Va., in January, a few weeks after The Post tracked down Brawley to tiny Hopewell, Va.
Before The Post came knocking, not even her own co-workers knew she was the teen behind the spectacular 1987 case.
“I don’t want to talk to anyone about that,” Brawley growled after a Post reporter confronted her about her sordid past in December.
Employing aliases including Tawana Thompson and Tawana Gutierrez, she leads a relatively normal life by all appearances, residing in a neat brick apartment complex and working as a licensed practical nurse at The Laurels of Bon Air in Richmond.
She’s also raising a daughter, a neighbor said.
Brawley was spotted one morning emerging from her house with a young girl and a man dressed in hospital scrubs.
They left in separate cars — Brawley in a Chrysler Sebring and the man and child in a Ford Taurus. Brawley arrived at work about 30 minutes later, and the man pulled into the same lot minutes afterward.
Her current life is a far cry from the one she fled in upstate Wappingers Falls, NY.
She was only 15 when she claimed she was the victim of a crime whose shocking brutality sparked a national outrage and stoked racial tensions…