SAN ANTONIO — The women known as the 'San Antonio Four' are back in the spotlight. The four friends who were wrongfully convicted of sexually assaulting two young girls are using their story of struggle and survival for a special cause.
In the late 90's, the four women were convicted of a crime they did not commit, and their sexual preference was used against them. Elizabeth Ramirez's two nieces, ages seven and nine, claimed all four women sexually assaulted them.
"In one day, our lives just changed," Ramirez said.
Ramirez, Anna Vasquez, Kristie Mayhugh, and Cassandra Rivera always maintained their innocence and spent nearly 15 years in prison.
"Prison kind of raised us," Ramirez said. "But, at the same time, we learned so much. I sat in my cell, and I was sitting in my bed and I was like, 'God is this day ever coming?'"
The day finally came. Today, in 2019, all four women are free and their names are cleared. Their records were just expunged a little more than a year ago.
They are now using their voices to fight for justice reform. Rivera, along with the other three women, work closely with the Innocence Project of Texas. It is an organization that helped the women and continues to help others today.
"The four of us have wanted everybody to know what this does," Rivera said. "Because this is a serious thing. Wrongful convictions are a serious thing."
On Sunday, they announced an event celebrating their innocence. The event is December 13, and all proceeds will go to the Innocence Project.
"It happened to us," Vasquez said. "It can happen to you. And it still continues to happen."
The women have a passion to fight for others. And for them life has a new meaning.
"It is something we embrace every day," Ramirez said. "Because you will never know what you have until it is gone."
The event on December 13 will be from 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. at BRICK located at 108 Blue Star #1773.
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