Mom May Face Life in Prison for Identifying Her Rapist

Horrifying 67

police tapeEighteen years ago, Norma Patricia Esparza was with friends at a bar when she pointed out a man who had raped her in her college dorm at Pomona State College. Just hours after she'd identified her rapist, he was found beaten and hacked to death by a meat cleaver. Esparza says her then-boyfriend committed the murder and forced her to keep his crime a secret. Now the mother and college professor faces jail time for her rapist's murder. Investigators want to charge her with first-degree special circumstances murder for conspiring and concealing the murder. "The principle of what they're asking me is to plead guilty to something that they know I am not responsible for," Esparza says. "It would essentially be a lie."

Esparza claims that her ex-boyfriend had forced her to point out her rapist. She also says police first told her she was not a target of their investigation, but now that she's cooperated with them, they're pressuring her to take a plea. The married mother of a four-year-old could face life without parole if convicted.

Prosecutors, on the other hand, say they have evidence to prove Esparza's guilt beyond the shadow of a doubt.

I wonder what happened here. On one hand, I can see how a scared, traumatized young woman could get pressured by an apparently VERY aggressive boyfriend to finger her rapist. She probably had an inkling he'd try to take revenge, but how could she know he'd resort to murder? With a MEAT CLEAVER! And I can imagine after that she'd definitely want to keep her mouth shut rather than risk meeting the same end. Can you blame her? There's a petition urging prosecutors to drop their case against Esparza.

On the other hand, I wonder if she said or revealed something that made investigators believe she had more of a hand in her rapist's murder. It's like they smelled blood on her. She could have actually plotted her rapist's murder with her boyfriend. It's possible.

But it's been 18 years. And since Esparza is a rape victim I feel squeamish about the idea of prosecuting her -- especially for a crime she did not commit herself. Can't they be satisfied with the conviction of the actual murderer?

Do you think Esparza should be held partly responsible for the murder of her rapist?


Image via Heather/ Flickr

crime, death, sex crime


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mande... manderspanders

If she knew her then boyfriend was going to take action and failed to report him at the time, then yes, she should have some consequences.

But this is absurd.

Daisy... DaisyJupes

She is unlikely to face life in prison, stop being so dramatic. She did conceal a crime, someone's murder, and there are consequences for that regardless of who was murdered.

Katha... Katharine205

This headline is misleading.  She's facing prison because she had a part in it (be it the plotting or the cover up), not because she just identified him.

BeccaLS BeccaLS

I'm sorry, but if you found out that your boyfriend hacked someone to death with a fucking meat cleaver would you really want to risk telling the cops? She was probably afraid that he would do the same to her, since he was clearly psychotic.

Crystal Reavis

She covered it up and therefore will have to face prison time, I am not saying its riight but it is the law!

Niki Whitman

Its a simple case of making sure women feel victimized, and that we leave the law into the hands of those who are supposed to dole justice. I think we all know how well that works. Its another case to make women afraid of saying who raped them. Rape shaming, at its finest. Millions of rape cases these investigators can be working on, and they are working on a cold case to further terrorize the victim and to ensure future victims are afraid.

calim... calimomma707

she might not have asked or told them to do it but the fact remains she knew. she knew for so many years, if she wasnt involved then why didnt she say something to anyone once she was no longer married to said murderer? plus at that point she was living on the other side of the planet. dont get me wrong, i dont feel bad for accused rapist but one does not equal another. after all she is still alive. peppered into this is a side note, her family brought her to the U.S illegally and yes, WE legal tax payers will pay for all of this, for someone who didnt belong here in the first place. so far, by what i can tell she's playing the victim card very well, laying blame on fear. when i was sodomized as a little child i would have loved NOT to have seen the pervert around town but it doesnt always work that way. when all of these years later he died of natural causes- it was an invisible burden that had been lifted away, and yet here i am with my fine kids who give me joy daily, and i dont have to see him anymore. im not in prison or on my way there and his blood is not on my hands.  

tgetch tgetch

Legally she is hindering an investigation by not telling them what she knew. so yes, she has some consequences to pay. In the legal system thats all they care about.

Rennie Miller

Glad the fucker was hacked to death. Let her be.

Forev... ForeverInLove

If her boyfriend was abusive, I can understand her not telling. She may have been fearing for her own life. We don't know her side.

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