The New York City Police Department says they have cracked a 23-year-old cold rape case that was once called a hoax by a newspaper columnist.

In April 1994, a woman said she was dragged into the bushes and raped in Prospect Park.

The late Daily News columnist Mike McAlary cited a source who said the woman invented the story because she wanted to bolster a speech she was giving about violence against lesbians.

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

Now detectives have matched DNA from the case to serial rapist James Edward Webb, who is serving 75 years to life in prison.

Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce says the victim wept with joy when she heard the news.

Webb denies raping her.