• Car Accident Lawyers 20.11.2013 Comments Off on SAN ANTONIO, Texas – They didn’t get to watch their children grow up into young adults Texas News346

    SAN ANTONIO, Texas

    Ramirez, Kristie Mayhugh, 40, and Cassandra Rivera, 38, along with Anna Vasquez, 38, were found guilty of molesting two girls in alleged assaults in 1994 that an expert has described as reminiscent of the Satanic ritual day care abuse cases of the 1980s and early 1990s. The women, known nationally as the “San Antonio 4,” always maintained their innocence. On Monday, after the district attorney agreed the group was entitled to a new trial on the grounds that recent scientific advances undermined testimony pivotal to their convictions, Ramirez, Mayhugh and Rivera were released on bond. Vasquez was paroled last year.

    “I couldn’t sleep last night. I couldn’t believe I was here,” said Rivera, a mother of two who met her granddaughter for the first time Monday night. Rivera said she found herself staring at her 20-something son and daughter, who were just 9 and 8 years old when she first went to prison nearly 14 years ago. “I can’t believe they’re with me,” she said.

    John Brecher / NBC News

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    During their time in prison, they had sent letter after letter to innocence groups and anyone who they thought could help them win exoneration. Along the way, they received many rejection letters and had many false starts.

    The women, who weren’t incarcerated in the same facilities, described having to fend for themselves in prison (Vasquez and Ramirez were at the same correctional center for a short time).

    Ramirez, the first to go to prison nearly 17 years ago, said she had never been in trouble in her life and was at first scared behind bars. Other inmates knew that she had been convicted of molesting girls and threatened to hurt her. But one reached out. “She took me under her wing and protected me. She schooled me about prison: you go do your time and this is how you do it,” she said.

    Cassandra Rivera hugs her son Michael on Nov. 19, his 22nd birthday and her first full day out of prison in nearly 14 years. “I made it in time for your birthday,” she told him Monday just after her release.

    Vasquez and Rivera, who entered prison three years after Ramirez, said a woman in their initial unit wanted to jump them until she heard their side of the story: they told her they were falsely accused.

    The group ended up doing the same with other inmates, but some still called them child molesters, Rivera said. “I still walked with my head held high because I knew I was innocent. We were innocent,” she said. “We know what happened, and the truth is going to eventually come out.”

    The women, except for Ramirez, could have avoided prison. Plea deals were offered, but they refused to accept them on the grounds that they were innocent. They could have left prison earlier, too, if they agreed to participate in a sex offender treatment program, which they all rejected.


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