The remaining three incarcerated lesbian women that were arrested for child molestation in 1994 have been freed from their prison located in Bexar County Texas. The women, Elizabeth Ramirez, 39, Cassandra Rivera, 38, and Kristie Mayhugh, 40, were known as the “San Antonio Four” along with Anna Vasquez, 38, who was released on parole last year.
The women were initially arrested after Ramirez’s neices, aged 7 and 9 when the incident took place, accused them of sexual assault after a party that occurred in Ramirez’s apartment. Ramirez was sentenced to 37 years in prison in 1997 and the remaining three were convicted the following year.
Despite these harsh convictions, one of Ramirez’s nieces eventually recanted her accusation.
“I can’t take back what I did, but if I could talk to all of them in one room I would just say I’m sorry. I’m sorry for ruining them,” she said in an interview with the Express-News last year.
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The case was finally revisited as a result of Texas’s new law that allows state judges to reopen cases and overturn verdicts that were decided on the basis of scientific evidence that is no longer accepted.
Many viewed the trial as an example of bigotry against LGBT individuals. They also view it as one of the state’s first examples of overturning a “junk science” case. The initial conviction used the evidence that one of the victims had “a scar on her hymen that was a result of a tear caused by physical trauma.” According to the expert witness Dr. Nancy Kellogg, who initially gave that analysis, a 2007 American Academy of Pediatrics study proved that hymen injuries do not result in scarring.
According to Court House News, the four defendants are currently seeking exoneration.