A judge says four San Antonio women were wrongfully convicted of sexually assaulting two young girls in a case that criminal justice advocates have long championed.

Texas District Judge Pat Priest on Tuesday ordered a new trial for the so-called "San Antonio 4," but he didn't declare them innocent, which would make them eligible for state compensation for the wrongfully convicted.

Elizabeth Ramirez, Kristie Mayhugh, Cassandra Rivera, and Anna Vasquez were accused by two of Ramirez's nieces, ages 7 and 9, of attacking them in 1994. The girls alleged the women held them by their wrists and ankles, sexually assaulting them and threatening to kill them.

One of the nieces has since recanted, and experts have raised questions about a key forensic expert's testimony.