Call for the immediate release of Patricia Esparza
Rape victim unjustly charged with murder by Orange County, California District Attorney
At the age of 20, Norma Patricia Esparza was raped in her college dorm. Now, 18 years later she is being charged with the murder of the man who raped her, and facing the possibility of the death penalty for a crime she did not commit.
As a child, Norma Patricia was sexually abused from the age of 5 until 12 by her father. Distressed and further humiliated by the rape, she did not turn to the police after the attack. Instead, she reported it to a college nurse but she received no help. With no one to turn to, she confided in a man she had dated. He seemed sympathetic but then he became enraged. Against her expressed wishes, he and his friends took action into their own hands. She learned later that the rapist was killed and she was threatened with her own life into remaining silent.
She has worked hard to rebuild her life after that nightmare, forming a family, becoming a mother, earning a PhD, and is now a well-respected and admired university professor of Psychology.
After close examination of all aspects, Emily Bazelon, a legal expert, attorney and investigative report for Slate.com, concludes in her detailed story that there is no basis for a murder charge, that law enforcement bungled the case back in 1995 and that the DA is overreaching in order to force a plea bargain.
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