Esperanza Medina has been hiding in the shadows for the last two years.
Her face, neck, arms and back were burned with sulfuric acid as she walked out of her Logan Square apartment on a July morning in 2008. She says she felt as a brown liquid splashed her face, and thought it was coffee. Within minutes it destroyed a quarter of her skin and in the weeks to come, doctors at Stroger Hospital performed multiple surgeries to replace the damaged tissue with skin from her legs, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Inmediately after the incident, police released a surveillance video showing three teenagers escaping from the scene. Police later arrested them and found out they were hired by their grandmother to throw acid at then 48-year-old Medina. All three teens pleaded guilty. It appears 60-year-old Ofelia Garcia believed Medina was dating her ex-husband, and wanted to get back at her.
Garcia and another woman named Maria Garcia-Olvera, who allegedly drove the teens to scene, were charged with first degree attempted murder and heinous battery amongst other counts. They both pleaded not guilty and will be on trial today. A third woman involved named Linda Dirzo died in 2009 while awaiting trial.
After the attack, Medina, a social worker and a mother of four, became filled with anger and fear. She wore baggy shirts and face masks to hide her scars. Showering was extremely painful as she was constantly reminded of the splashing of acid to her body. The pain was too overwhelming to bear to the point that she tried to end her life.
But now Medina tells the Chicago Tribune she is preparing herself to meet her attackers as she will be testifying in the case. She says she plans on wearing a sleeveless black dress and will wear her hair back so the jury can see the scars that will stay with her forever.