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Newsmonger: Hays Restoration Group sues city, Retaliation in exoneration case, Review panel recommends withdrawing UT fracking study

Photo: Michael Barajas, License: N/A

Michael Barajas

"[W]e cannot endorse the use of a [Transportation Enhancement] funded facility to benefit a private development which will reduce the original scope and intent of the project," the letter reads. "If the City and TxDOT chooses to allow a private benefactor access and use of the facility, the Federal funding used toward the completion of this project should be returned."

Lori Houston with the Center City Development Office said the city is still in talks with TxDOT and the feds and has yet to finalize the lease agreement.

Retaliation in exoneration case

In early August, Stephanie gave extensive, recorded recantations to lawyers with the Innocence Project of Texas and to Austin-based documentary filmmaker Deborah Esquenazi, claiming her father forced her to repeat false accusations of having been savagely molested by her aunt and three friends when she was just 7-years-old. After calling her father, Javier Limon, an "evil monster," the woman told Esquenazi on camera she expected payback from her father for coming clean. "Either by physical abuse, or by getting my children taken away," she said.

Both Stephanie's mother, Rosemary Camarillo, and her Houston attorney Casie Gotro told the Current last month Stephanie has faced intense retaliation from her father since recanting her claims of abuse. Last week Limon took the stand against his daughter during a child custody battle in a Houston court.

While complaints to Child Protective Services are anonymous, an affidavit in the case filed by a CPS caseworker outlines allegations against Stephanie and her husband stemming from an altercation with Limon around the time of Stephanie's recantation to Esquenazi and the Innocence Project of Texas. In October CPS was given emergency custody of Stephanie's three children.

Stephanie's recantation was a critical break-thru in the ongoing efforts to exonerate her aunt, Elizabeth Ramirez, and her three friends, whom advocates have come to call the San Antonio Four. Ramirez and friends Cassandra Rivera, Anna Vasquez, and Kristie Mayhugh were convicted in 1997 and 1998 on charges they brutally molested Stephanie and her older sister during a weeklong visit to Ramirez's apartment in 1994. All four women have maintained their innocence, and experts who have reviewed the case have called the forensics used to convict the women deeply flawed. All except Vasquez, who was paroled last month, remain in prison.

At her 1997 trial, Rivera speculated Limon forced his daughters to lie because she turned down his advances and a marriage proposal.

The E-N's Michelle Mondo (the first reporter to critically examine the San Antonio Four's innocence claims in 2010) reported that Limon in court last week accused his daughter and her husband of domestic violence and endangering their children. Stephanie then accused Limon of abusing her as a teenager, including an instance where Limon allegedly hit her over the head with a piece of lumber. Finding no evidence to back Limon's allegations, a judge gave Stephanie and her husband their children back after Friday's court hearing.

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