Description of the event
The event revolved around four Latin American girls who were prosecuted in 1997 and 1998 for gang-raping two girls of tender age. The San Antonio four were lesbians and lived in Texas at the time of the occurrence of the event. The story of the San Antonio four depicts the wrongful convictions of the four lesbian girls namely Elizabeth Ramirez, Kristie Mayhugh, Cassandra Rivera, and Anna Vasquez. The whole event took place in a time when there was a lousy panic witch-hunt period of the mid-1980s and early 1990s. The four lesbian girls were accused in the year 1994.
Summer 1994 saw the accusation of Elizabeth Ramirez, Kristie Mayhugh, Cassandra Rivera and Anna Vasquez with the offense of assaulting two young girls sexually. The girls were aged seven and nine years respectively and were nieces to Elizabeth Ramirez. The crime was committed in San Antonio, in the American State of Texas. The four lesbian girls were known to notoriously proclaim their gay statuses. The arrest and charging took place after the nieces to Elizabeth Ramirez had visited the apartment in which those as mentioned earlier lived. No specific evidence was used to convict the four girls. The court just worked on the assumption that lesbian girls had a disposition of assaulting young girls sexually.
The evidence that was adduced before the court had no scientific forensics in it. The evidence was just a belief in the evil relation of the event. Three of the four girls that were indicted were sentenced to fifteen years in prison. The fourth, who was an aunt to the girls and presumably the ring-leader was sentenced to 37.5 years in prison. During the time of the sentencing, Elizabeth Ramirez was pregnant and gave birth shortly after being imprisoned. She was later on forced to give up the baby just at the commencement of her sentence. Cassandra Rivera and Anna Vasquez were partnering in raising two children.
The four girls challenged the lawfulness of the conviction earlier on. But even so, they were still serving their terms in prison and had to wait for nearly fifteen years in jail before they could see the light at the end of the tunnel. In 2012, a rebuttal of the submissions was demonstrated when one of the nieces openly disclosed that she was under duress from her father to testify falsely against Elizabeth Ramirez. The father of the niece, known as Javier Limon, was depicted to have in the past, approached Elizabeth Ramirez intimately in vain. New legislation was passed and enacted in Texas, allowing people to challenge their charges together with any hearings that took place thereinafter.
In the central court, the four girls challenged their convictions together with the subsequent hearings. One of the girls, Cassandra Rivera, was accorded parole while the other three girls were let out on bond, being assisted by the Innocence Project of Texas. In the opinion of the court, the four defendants had succeeded in proving to the republic that they did not commit the crime with which they were charged. They were innocent and therefore were exonerated and their criminal records expunged later on in 2018.
How the event helped me understand my responsibility in the multicultural world.
The event hereinabove happened at a time when the multi-cultural world hade not become as diverse as it is now. At the time of the event, there were presumptions and beliefs of satanic-related rituals and witch-hunt kind of society. That is why the court did not even rely on any scientific or forensic evidence in convicting the four girls but rather on beliefs and presumptions that were not necessarily correct. That is one of the challenges that living in that time brought with it. The world has changed significantly to accommodate the emerging cultures to accommodate everyone living in the current times and their interests.
The idea of lesbianism was unheard of in most up-countries like Texas. The change has however helped everyone to feel included in the society. Personally, in my opinion at that time, as a person who understands the multicultural world better, I would not have been against the girls in their bid to be who they wanted to be. It was moreover, not correct for the court to disregard the rule of law and natural justice while deciding their cases. For instance, they were not presented in an unbiased platform, and their fates were long before decided due to the rigidness of the culture at that time.
Sometimes, our actions can impact others in a two-fold manner. For instance, the jury in the deciding of the case failed to follow the rule of law and caused the four girls to suffer without having committed a crime. Javier Limon too selfishly pressed his daughter to attest against Elizabeth so that he could have his revenge. That is how our actions can go as far as causing misery and suffering to others when we are not careful wen articulating them and to the greater good.
In the event, the four girls were living in San Antonio, Texas. The society then and the location of Texas was not so dynamic as to accept the multi-culture as in other developed urban places. That is the reason as to why the girls were convicted and sentenced on presumptions as the upcountry was not diversified in terms of cultures of lesbianism.