Acid Attack Survivor Ready to Testify

Esperanza Medina: "I want to see justice…that’s what I want."

By Charlie Wojciechowski
|  Monday, Sep 27, 2010  |  Updated 6:00 PM CDT
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As the trial begins against those accused of throwing acid on <a title=Esperanza Medina two years ago, the victim says she just wants "justice" and a message sent that violent crime, like what she experienced, must be stopped." />

As the trial begins against those accused of throwing acid on Esperanza Medina two years ago, the victim says she just wants "justice" and a message sent that violent crime, like what she experienced, must be stopped.

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With her friends and family in the courtroom, Esperanza Medina said she is prepared to testify at the trial of the women accused of planning a brutal acid attack that's left her face and body with permanent scars.

"They give me more energy to go on and fight back," Medina said outside the courtroom at 26th and California as the trial began Monday.

The attack took place outside Medina’s Logan Square home two years ago and was carried out by three Cicero teens who splashed her with sulfuric acid and beat her with a baseball bat, prosecutors said.

Ofelia Garcia and Maria Olvera Garcia are charged with plotting the attack.  Prosecutors say the par wanted to get back at Medina, who had moved in with a man with whom both had previous relationships.

In court Monday, the girl who admitted to throwing the acid testified she did so because she was afraid that Garcia would hurt her or her family.

She fought back tears as described how Medina recoiled from the burning liquid.

"She was screaming so loud," said the girl, who was 16 at the time of the attack.

Medina suffered full-thickness chemical burns to 25 percent of her body.  Her recovery process has been long and painful.

"Emotionally I am fine," Medina said. "A little hurt still, but physically a lot better."

Both Ofelia Garcia and Maria Olvera Garcia are charged with three counts of planning a heinous battery, two counts of armed robbery, six counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and three counts of aggravated battery. If convicted, they could face in excess of 40 years in prison.

When asked what she would like to see happen to the women, Media simply answered, "I want to see justice…that’s what I want."

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