The San Antonio 4 are Declared Totally Exonerated by Texas Court10:58 PM
Filmmaker Deborah S. Esquenazi woke up to a phone call from attorney Mike Ware of The Innocent Project of Texas telling her the great news that “The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled Wednesday that the women known as the “San Antonio 4” be declared innocent and exonerated.” This sentence was stated exactly in the court decision this morning.
The San Antonio 4 – Elizabeth Ramirez, Cassandra Rivera, Kristie Mayhugh, and Anna Vasquez – four Latina lesbians wrongfully convicted of gang-raping two little girls in San Antonio, Texas over 20 years ago during the “Satanic Panic” of the 1980s-1990s are the subject of Esquenazi’s award winning documentary film, “SOUTHWEST OF SALEM: THE STORY OF THE SAN ANTONIO FOUR.”
The film weaves together emotional interviews with the women and their families with actual news footage and home videos, equally showcasing the injustice of the situation and the families that were torn apart as a result.
The documentary, along with articles written in Rolling Stone, The Texas Observer and the New York Times, was cited in the opinion section of the court’s decision.
“This is a stunning victory, not only for the San Antonio Four, but for gay rights,” director Esquenazi said. “I couldn’t have imagined that six years ago, with nothing more than a camera and shoe-leather journalistic persistence, that this day would come. It shows the power of art. It shows that even with no cultural capital, power, or resources, we can make great change.”“SOUTHWEST OF SALEM” has won numerous awards at festivals across the globe and has come away with great reviews.
“A big congratulations to the extraordinary Innocence Project of Texas, whose singular commitment to truth was part of this great victory,” Esquenazi said. “It really is a great day for justice in Texas---and a magical Thanksgiving for all of us."Investigation Discovery (ID) is the television home for the film, and will air an encore presentation of "SOUTHWEST OF SALEM: THE STORY OF THE SAN ANTONIO FOUR" on Nov. 27 from 9 A.M. – 11 A.M. ET.
The film’s broadcast premiere on ID in October also broke the record for the network’s largest viewing audience for a premiere, with over 1 million viewers. The documentary is currently available on Investigation Discovery’s TV Everywhere platform, IDGO.com, the network’s live and on demand TV Everywhere streaming service. To log in and watch for free with your TV subscription, visit InvestigationDiscoveryGo.com or download Investigation Discovery Go from the App Store (for smartphones, tablets, and Apple TV), Google Play or Roku Channel Store.