Four San Antonio women, imprisoned for more than a decade for a sexual assault they almost certainly did not commit, were ordered released on their signature bonds today, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Anna Vasquez, who was released on very strict probation last year, says she never thought this day would come.
"It was a complete injustice to us," she said.
District Attorney Susan Reed says she will not order a retrial for the four, and since they are released on only their signatures, this essentially ends their court supervision. But supporters say they want the four to be completely exonerated, so they no longer have to register as sex offenders, and they can seek compensation from a fund set up by the Legislature for those who have been wrongfully convicted.
In 1994, the four women were charged with sexually assaulting two young girls, aged 7 and 9. Graciela Sanchez, who is a local gay rights advocate, says it was clearly a case of prosecutors believing the rumor at the time, which claimed that lesbians were more likely to molest children of their own gender.
"This definitely took place because it was a witch hunt against four lesbians, Latina lesbians, I might add," she said. "Had they been white I don't think this would have happened."
Michael Rivera, who was nine years old when his mother went to prison, turns 21 years old tomorrow.
"Tomorrow is my birthday and it is the best present I could ask for, if you ask me."