Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Woman released from prison after accuser recants sex assault accusations

Chalk another one up for the Innocence Project. 12 years. One third of her life. It's great that she is so forgiving to the accuser, but the sad fact is, she will never be able to get back that time. Best wishes to Ms. Vasquez.

A San Antonio woman convicted of sexually assaulting two young girls back in 1994 has been released from prison after one of the victims recanted her accusations. On her first full day back home 37- year old Anna Vasquez shared her story with News 4 WOAI.

Vasquez was just 19-years old when she was accused of a crime she said she did not commit. After serving 12-and-a-half years behind bars someone has finally backed up her story. It was one of her accusers.

“It takes a big person to admit that they made a mistake, and I’m just grateful and I thank God that she came forward,” explained Anna Vasquez as she sat in her childhood home surrounded by family.

Vasquez added she is not angry at her accuser, a girl who was seven at the time, but who now at age 25 said she lied about being sexually assaulted by Vasquez and three other women.  Vasquez was a friend of the girls' family.

“It was overwhelming, very emotional so much has changed over the years, so much has changed over the years, you know,” said Vasquez.

She had a lot of time in prison to think about her case and her own lost youth.

And as Vasquez got choked up with tears running down her face she shared, “You know it's not until someone brings it up that I actually allow myself to realize the many years that I have lost”.

Vasquez is out of prison, but said it is not over yet. The three other women who were also convicted remain locked up so she plans to fight for their release.

“I have been paroled but it is not over, this is not over and it won’t be over until we gain our exoneration”.

Anna Vasquez served 12 years of a 15 year prison sentence. She was freed with the help of the Innocence Project of Texas. A documentary is also being made about her case.