Woman gets 44 years in Logan Square acid attack

November 1, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Ofelia Garcia, 60, got one year less than the 45-year-old maximum in the case. She was the mastermind behind the 2008 attack in Logan Square.

Esperanza Medina, 50, was permanently scarred in the attack.

A second woman, Maria Olvera-Garcia, is expected to be sentenced Wednesday. She is Ofelia Garcia's ex-daughter-in-law.

A third suspect in the attack died in jail.

Medina left court satisfied Monday afternoon after the sentencing. She says she's a fighter and, with the sentencing, she is no longer a victim.

"I'm very happy with it. I was expecting less than that," Medina told reporters.

In court, Garcia made no statement before Judge Nicholas Ford chastised her for the brutal acid attack that burned 25-percent of Medina's body and disfigured her face, saying, "what she did was terrible and she deserves to be punished."

"I don't know if there are any words that could explain away why you would do something like that," said Kim Foxx, assistant Cook County state's attorney.

Both Garcia's attorney and her family left the courthouse without comment. Prosecutors say the duo plotted revenge against Medina after Garcia became jealous that her long-time boyfriend, Gustavo Alvarez, who also dated Olvera-Garcia, ended his relationship with both women in order to move in with Medina.

Authorities say they enlisted three teenagers to douse Medina with sulfuric acid, then hit her with a baseball bat and steal her purse to make it look like a robbery.

"They were used by the adults. The judge thought and explained his reasoning for giving her one year short of the maximum," said John Somerville, assistant Cook County state's attorney.

Medina's daughter read her mother's victim's impact statement to the courtroom, detailing the struggles she has suffered including 17 painful skin grafts.

"I knew I was not crying, but howling like a hurt animal....the pain was so bad, I just wanted to die," the letter read.

"It was very hard to read it. Every time I read it, I cry. I was trying to read it like her voice," said Lissette Medina, daughter.

Despite her scars, Medina says she plans on recapturing her dreams by going back to school and slowly getting her life back.

"This is the part I was waiting for," she said.

Two of the teens involved in the attack pleaded guilty to heinous battery. A third who acted as a look-out pleaded guilty to aggravated battery.

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