THIS IS INNOCENCE

THE SAN ANTONIO FOUR

MAY 11, 2017

 

Our Special Guests

In 1994, four Texan women were thrust into the national spotlight for the worst possible reason: they had became suspects in the alleged sexual abuse of the two young nieces of one of the four. All four protested their innocence from the start, but they were unable to save themselves from being convicted and sentenced to many decades in prison. Testimony from a medical expert about trauma to the supposed victims' bodies and a climate of homophobia that surrounded the trial helped to convict them. 

The women became known as the San Antonio Four. Cut off from their children and families, locked behind bars and regarded as monsters by most, they seemed to have no way out. That is until one of the "victims", now an adult, came forward to admit she had lied. She said she had been coached by family members and used by her father as leverage in a custody battle.

As the story began to fall apart, the Four were able to get legal assistance, including from the Innocence Project of Texas, and get back into court to clear their names. They were released from prison while their case was reviewed and, at last, in November 2016, they were exonerated by the Texas Court of Appeals. Not only were they found not guilty, but their exoneration was confirmation that the crimes they were convicted of simply never took place.

Anna Vasquez and Cassandra Rivera, two of the Four, joined us May 11 in Portland for THIS IS INNOCENCE, our premier annual fundraising event in support of the Oregon Innocence Project. All of the proceeds from the event will go to support our work to help wrongfully convicted Oregonians prove their innocence.

 

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AMY ALPERN