Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four is a documentary that looks at the case of four gay women accused of raping two young girls.
Back in 1994 Elizabeth Ramirez, Anna Vasquez, Kristie Mayhugh and Cassandra River were accused of raping two of Ramirez’s nieces.
The nieces had been staying with the openly gay women for a week and went on to accuse the women of penetrating them with various objects while holding weapons to their heads.
The accusations came from the girls, their father and grandmother.
However, their story changed quite a lot over the weeks and even between trials.
Nevertheless all the women were found guilty with Ramirez given a 37 year sentence and the others getting 15 years each.
Southwest of Salem looks at how the women were convicted using nonsense forensic science and unreliable witnesses.
The women have since been released but huge damage was done to their personal lives, their children and their reputations.
The program also looks at how the prevailing homophobia of the time and satanic cult hysteria helped convince the jury. But it also examines the role of prosecutors in pursuing such an outlandish case and ignoring various pieces of evidence that should have been huge flags.
There is also an interview with one of the alleged victims, who has since recanted her statement.
The case of the San Antonio Four is now before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
Watch Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four tonight at 8 PM on Discovery ID.
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