“A New Beginning” for the San Antonio Four

Group exonerated 22 years after their high-profile arrest

The San Antonio Four were granted full exoneration by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals last Wednesday, 22 years after their arrest for aggravated sexual assault and indecency against two young girls. As one of the final misguided rulings from the country's decade-long obsession with satanic ritual abuse, the four queer women (Elizabeth Ramirez, Kristie Mayhugh, Cassandra Rivera, and Anna Vasquez) were imprisoned for a crime they never committed. After one of the young accusers recanted her story and forensic evidence from the trial was debunked in 2012 and 2013, the four were released on bail with the help of the Innocence Project. They were not, however, granted exoneration until the Nov. 23 ruling. Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood said in a statement shortly after the ruling: "The court's opinion has exonerated the women and their convictions are overturned. Today's ruling prevents any further prosecution of these cases. I pray peace and a new beginning for them."

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San Antonio Four, Elizabeth Ramirez, Kristie Mayhugh, Cassandra Rivera, Anna Vasquez, Nico LaHood

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