Four San Antonio women expected to be cleared in a 1994 sexual assault case made their first public appearance Wednesday morning since three of them were released on bond.
The four women -- Anna Vasquez, Cassandra Rivera, Elizabeth Ramirez and Kristie Mayhugh -- were convicted in 1998 for the alleged sexual assault of two little girls related to Ramirez, who received the longest sentence of 37 years. Vasquez was paroled last year.
The San Antonio Four addressed the media on Wednesday at the Tower Life building downtown around 11 a.m.
By that time, they had been out of prison for just about 40 hours after spending more than 15 years behind bars.
Those 40 hours was spent catching up with their family.
District Attorney Susan Reed said medical findings since the trials in the late 1990s disproved crucial expert testimony at the time. Reed said one of the little girls who is now grown has recanted her account.
Their news conference covered a wide range of things, from their lives behind bars to the process that eventually brought them freedom -- freedom that, for now, amounts to only being free on bond.
They've still got a long road ahead in their quest for exoneration.
"I hope this will open doors to a lot of women who are incarcerated for a long period of time," Ramirez said. "If this could help someone -- if we could be their voice -- (and if) they will have that hope and that chance, (then) I pray that this will be the opportunity that it will."
But for Wednesday, the talk was about freedom and family.
"They made it possible for me to be home on my son's birthday," said Rivera. "I don't think that anything would have been better. But I do want to thank everybody, because without y'all, it wouldn't be possible."
The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center is producing a documentary film about their case.