Victim, Boyfriend Testify in Acid Attack Trial

Esperanza Medina wore sleeveless dress to show extent of injuries

By Charlie Wojciechowski and BJ Lutz
|  Tuesday, Sep 28, 2010  |  Updated 10:31 PM CDT
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Acid Attack Victim Testifies

Charlie Wojciechowski

Esperanza Medina is surrounded by family members as she speaks to reporters after her testimony on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010.

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In emotional testimony lasting fewer than 10 minutes, Esperanza Medina recounted the morning two years ago when acid was thrown on her body.

"To just remember... I thought I forgot about that. But definitely things came back and it hurts. But somehow I'll make it," Medina said outside the courtroom surrounded by friends and family.

On the witness stand, Medina wore a black, sleeveless dress to show off the full extent of her injuries.  Through tears, she described how she was running late that July morning and how she was putting things in her car when she heard someone shout, 'Hey, this is for you.'"

Medina said she initially thought the burning liquid was hot coffee.

"I pulled my shirt up and felt a hit on my back," she testified, staring at Maria Olvera Garcia and Ofelia Garcia, the two women charged with planning the attack.  "I thought if I got up, they are going to kill me."

Tuesday's testimony also included that of Medina's boyfriend, Gustavo Alvarez. Speaking through a translator, he testified that he heard Medina scream shortly after leaving the house that July 2008 morning.

"I saw her face changing colors and her clothes were destroyed," he said, according to the Chicago Tribune.

He said he took Medina back into the house and put her in the shower in an attempt to wash off the acid. Ultimately, Medina suffered full-thickness chemical burns to 25 percent of her body.

Neither of the two defense teams asked any questions under cross examination.

Alvarez is the ex-boyfriend of the two accused women.  Prosecutors allege the pair plotted the attack because they upset that Alvarez had started seeing Medina.

The attack was carried out by three Cicero teens.  In court Monday, the girl who admitted throwing the acid testified she did so because she was afraid that Garcia would hurt her or her family.

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

The trial continues Wednesday.  The defense team is expected to call just one witness before sending the case to the two juries hearing the case simultaneously.

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