ACE series continues with documentary on ‘San Antonio Four’

The Arts and Cultural Events series continues Tuesday, Oct. 10, with a showing of the film “Southwest by Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four.”

The film is a documentary directed by Deborah Esquenazi about the prosecution of four Latina lesbians in 1997 and 1998 who allegedly gang-raped two young girls. It will be shown at 7 p.m. in the A.K. Hinds University Center theater. Admission is free and open to the public.

In the summer of 1994, Elizabeth Ramirez, Cassandra Rivera, Kristie Mayhugh and Anna Vasquez were accused of sexually assaulting 7- and 9-year-old nieces of Ramirez in San Antonio, Texas. The four openly gay women were charged after a weeklong visit from the nieces at Ramirez’s apartment. The four women were 19 and 20 years old at the time.

Three were sentenced to 15 years in prison, while the supposed “ringleader” Ramirez was given a 37.5-year sentence. The documentary showcases their fight for innocence throughout nearly 15 years in prison.

In 2012, Rivera was given parole. The others were released on bail in 2013. On Nov. 23, 2016, the four were exonerated of all charges.

For more information, contact Brandon Lokey, assistant director for campus programs, at bklokey@wcu.edu or 828-227-2612.