[*]By CHUCK BENNETT
Infamous hoaxster Tawana Brawley — whose outrageous rape lie 25 years ago inflamed racial tensions nationwide — yesterday was finally slapped with a court order to settle a hefty defamation case against her.
“For at least 25 years, she has been living a major lie,” said former Dutchess County prosecutor Steven Pagones, who was falsely accused of raping Brawley in 1987 and finally tracked her down, thanks to The Post.
“To me, this has always been about responsibility and accountability,’’ added the former ADA, who won the $190,000 defamation lawsuit against Brawley, 40, now a nurse in Virginia, more than a decade ago.
“There is a feeling of unfinished business to it,” he said of the case that ended his career and cost him his marriage. “I look at this as another opportunity for her to tell the truth.
“People criticize me for going after a hardworking single mother trying to support herself and child. My argument has been she has not been held accountable.
“If she is not going to tell the truth, then it is about the money. That is the only way to hold her accountable,” said Pagones, who is now principal owner of a private investigations firm.