Texas

Texas appeals court rules 'San Antonio 4' are innocent

FILE - In this April 22, 2015 file photo, four San Antonio women known as the San Antonio 4 from right, Anna Vasquez, Elizabeth Ramirez, Kristie Mayhugh and Cassandra Rivera look on during a hearing in San Antonio, Texas. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, that the four women who served almost 15 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted in 1998 of sexually assaulting two young girls should be exonerated of the charges. The majority opinion issued by the court declares that they are innocent and could make them eligible for millions in state compensation. (Bob Owen/The San Antonio Express-News via AP, File)

FILE - In this April 22, 2015 file photo, four San Antonio women known as the San Antonio 4 from right, Anna Vasquez, Elizabeth Ramirez, Kristie Mayhugh and Cassandra Rivera look on during a hearing in San Antonio, Texas. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, that the four women who served almost 15 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted in 1998 of sexually assaulting two young girls should be exonerated of the charges. The majority opinion issued by the court declares that they are innocent and could make them eligible for millions in state compensation. (Bob Owen/The San Antonio Express-News via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled that four San Antonio women who served almost 15 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of sexually assaulting two young girls should be exonerated of the charges.

The majority opinion issued by the court Wednesday declares that Elizabeth Ramirez, Kristie Mayhugh, Cassandra Rivera and Anna Vasquez are innocent and could make them eligible for millions in state compensation.

The so-called "San Antonio 4" were convicted in 1998 after two of Ramirez's nieces, ages 7 and 9, accused them of sexually assaulting and threatening to kill them in 1994.

Three of the women were released in 2013 after one of the nieces recanted and challenges were raised about expert testimony. Vasquez had previously been paroled. The four have been seeking exoneration.