Logan Square acid attack victim to testify

September 27, 2010 9:53:51 PM PDT
Opening statements began Monday in the trial of two women accused of throwing acid on a Logan Square woman in 2008.

The victim, Esperanza Medina, 50, was permanently scarred in the 2008 attack on West Altgeld. Medina, who plans to take the stand during the trial, spoke with ABC7 about her ordeal last week.

"It's very depressing, it takes a lot of energy and anxiety," Medina said, but she says she is "trying to do whatever I can."

Medina is expected to take the stand on Tuedsay.

Ofelia Garcia, 60, and Maria Olvera-Garcia, 37, are charged in the case. A third suspect, Linda Dirzo, died in jail in 2009.

On Monday, jurors heard from the teenagers who threw the acid. The teens, who were 15 and 16 years old at the time of the attack, say that afterwards, one of the defendants laughed about what happened.

One of the teens testified that she spent the night before the attack at Garcia's house the day before the attack, and that she was given a large bottle of liquid and told to splash it on Medina, and that Olvera-Garcia drove the teens from Cicero to the site of the attack.

Surveillance video of the attack shows the teen running from the scene of the crime with Medina's purse. She is now housed in the Warrenville Youth Correction center.

She said that a few days later, she went to California, where she was arrested and confessed. She held her head while testifying about the moments before she splashed Medina with what she later learned was sulfuric acid.

Both Garcia and Olvera-Garcia are charged with heinous battery and could face up to 45 years in prison if convicted.

Each of the defendants has their own attorney, and two separate juries are hearing the case simultaneously.

Prosecutors say Garcia was upset that Medina was dating her ex-husband and used teenagers to carry out the attack. Those teenagers will testify against Garcia and Olvera-Garcia as part of a plea agreement.

Each suspect will have her own jury in the trial.

Medina said she plans to attend court every day of the trial- and will wear a sleeveless dress when she's called to testify so her alleged attackers can see the scars left on her body. Medina says it is part of her healing process.

She says it has taken her two years to work through the pain of the attack, which left her with burns over 25% of her body.

The trial is taking place at the Cook County Criminal Court Building at 26th and California.


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