Why Should You Care about Patricia Esparza?

Because she is in jail for the death of her rapist, but there is no basis for a murder charge.

Because nearly 7,000 people already stand with Patricia.

Because Patricia is the mother of a 4-year-old daughter.

Patricia’s Story

At the age of 20, Patricia was raped in her college dorm room. Now, 19 years later, she has been charged with the murder of the man who raped her. She awaits trial in the Orange County jail, and faces the possibility of the death penalty for a crime she did not commit.

Patricia was sexually abused by her father from the age of 5 until she was 12, and when she was raped again in college, she could not turn to her family. She went to the school nurse at Pomona College to report her rape, but the nurse blamed her, shamed her, and sent her on her way.  Patricia reluctantly confided in an ex-boyfriend about the rape, and he took matters into his own hands.

Patricia’s ex-boyfriend and his friends kidnapped Patricia and beat up her rapist. “The events of that night have tormented me all my life. They were violent and I was terrified for my life. I felt trapped. I could not run or escape. I was outnumbered by three men, one of whom was armed. I was miles away from home without access to a phone or a car, and I did not know how to drive.” Two months later, Patricia learned that her rapist had been killed that night.

Patricia stayed silent for nearly two decades about the murder because these men threatened her life and the lives of her family members. She fully cooperated with police when they reopened the case in 2012, and the prosecutor was only able to build a solid case against these men because of Patricia’s testimony. The prosecutor then inexplicably turned around and charged Patricia with murder. This is a clear example of prosecutorial overreach, and the prosecutor should immediately drop the charges.