NEW YORK — New York City detectives say they’ve cracked a 23-year-old rape case a newspaper columnist wrote was a hoax.

A woman was walking through Brooklyn’s Prospect Park in 1994 when she was dragged into the bushes and raped. She gave police a detailed description of her attacker.

Late Daily News columnist Mike McAlary wrote he heard from a source the woman invented her story because she wanted to bolster a speech she was to give at a rally about violence against lesbians.

The woman sued for libel, but the case was dismissed.

Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce says detectives matched DNA to James Edward Webb, a serial rapist serving 75 years to life in prison. Boyce said Wednesday the woman wept with joy when she was told.

Webb denies raping the woman.

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