The charges against us are the worst there is. I do not want to have that label! The thing that scares me the most is the thought that our names will never be cleared.
— Anna Vasquez 07/07/07
During the summer of 1994 Anna Vasquez was working in a local restaurant in San Antonio. The year before she had graduated from high school with excellent grades, and had a major boost toward her intended career when she passed her interviews and was listed for a scholarship at Nursing School.
Anna and Cassandra Rivera were in a relationship in 1994. The reason Anna was at Liz’ apartment during the time of the alleged assaults is because Cassie had had an argument with her mother and needed some time to “cool off”. Anna lived at home, but because her mother didn’t approve of her daughter”s sexual orientation wouldn’t allow Cassie to stay there. So Cassie and her two children were staying at Liz’ crowded one bedroom apartment for the week.
Anna’s greatest asset through all of this has been her mother. Today Maria Vasquez is completely supportive of Anna in every way. Maria also has terrible guilt and blames herself for what happened to her daughter, saying that if she had been more open-minded at the time, Anna wouldn’t have been at the apartment that week, and wouldn’t be in prison today. Maria has also developed a close relationship with Cassie over the last 10 years, and now treats her like her own daughter.
I must say that proving your innocence for something that never happened is very difficult to do. I am living proof of that. I’ve been trying to prove my innocence since 1994 and here it is September of 2007 to no avail. I sit in a Texas prison still wondering, how has all this happened?
In late September of 1994 I received the worst kind of phone call imaginable. It was from a detective who was investigating a claim of sexual assault to a child. I couldn’t believe that I was the one being investigated. My heart dropped and I was at a loss for words. I completely cooperated with the police and their investigation of me and my three co-defendants. I mean, why wouldn’t I? I was completely innocent of the accusation and I believed that the truth would prevail. I was wrong in thinking that.
The children who accused us were two nieces of my co-defendant Liz. They love their aunt and I could never think of them even thinking that way. Liz did everything for them that any normal aunt would. So for them to come out with a claim like this is really unbelievable.
It went from accusations to being charged, to being tried in a court of law. It’s obvious to see that I didn’t win. The only thing they had against us was a claim. No evidence was presented to hold up their claims. On several occasions they were caught in outright lies. Not only the children but the outcry witness as well. It was ridiculous and I couldn’t believe it when they came back with a guilty verdict. They say when it comes to a child most people are going to go that way. I too believe that and I do understand but when the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the accused then how could you convict them? I’ll never understand but I can’t stay focused on that either, what I am focusing on is my continuing fight for my innocence and the truth.
I am going on my tenth year of this fifteen-year sentence. I have seen parole, back in 2005 only to be given a three-year set off. I believe it had in part to do with the fact that I would not admit to the crime. They tend to look at that as a way of not accepting guilt and I won’t. That is one thing that no one can take from me. The fact that I will never admit to something that never happened.
So I have to set my mind up to accept the fact that I will not be going home anytime soon. I am prepared to do the complete sentence. Another condition of parole is to complete a Sex Offender Program set up through the T.D.C.J. I will not participate in that either. People tell me just say it so that I can go home but that hasn’t even crossed my mind. I will not take the coward’s way out to just go home. Never!
I am coming to you to ask for help. I am in desperate need of it and I know that there are plenty of people who have had some kind of experience with this. Any assistance would be great and I have nothing to lose. I have lost the most important thing already, and that was my freedom.
Thank you for taking an interest in this website and any help would be greatly appreciated. Until the truth comes out we will remain “Four Lives Lost.”
Anna Vasquez 08/05/07
Excerpts from Anna’s Letters
“We are sitting in prison for a crime we didn’t commit. It was a complete injustice but here we sit. I don’t understand how it happened but our lives have been ruined. We have been fighting this case since 1994. We have run out of ideas and have come to a dead end. How are innocent people supposed to show that they are innocent when no one wants to hear them? It’s just not fair how this could happen but it has. I was asked at my parole hearing how I felt? My answer was hurt, humiliated and scared. Hurt because I am innocent and have no way to prove it. I am humiliated because of the charges against me. They are the worst there is. I am looked at like a monster. The lowest of the low. I am scared because this is something that will follow me for the rest of my life. I don’t have any children but I have several nieces and nephews and I would love to hold them without getting into trouble. Can you understand that? I have a lot of anger and am frustrated because of this. I don’t understand how this could have happened.”
“We were offered probation and our attorneys wanted to put it off on Liz. But why when we are all innocent! I wouldn’t be able to live with that. So believing in the system got me 15 yrs. I was naive, scared, and ignorant to the system. When I cooperated with the police they used it against me. You think you are doing right but they twist things around.”
r.e. What to post on this website:
“I was thinking of putting all of the discrepancies that are in the trial transcripts. Between both trials there were a lot. There was doubt, how they convicted us is unbelievable. Is it possible to go and ask them why the came back with a guilty verdict?”
r.e The card Javier sent to Liz:
“Javier is a sick man and I don’t understand him either. Maybe it was his way of apologizing. I don’t know. Will we ever know why he did this? I think not.