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Landmark Domestic Violence Case Set to Begin

Mar’a Teresa Macias v. Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Ihde will be heard in a San Francisco courthouse beginning on June 17th. Mar’a Teresa Macias was shot to death by her estranged husband, Avelino Macias, on April 15, 1996. Her mother was also shot, but survived. Prior to her death, Teresa had called the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department more than 20 times to report her estranged husband’s violence, sexual assaults, stalking, and threats to kill both Teresa and her mother. Despite California law and county policy requiring arrest on domestic violence and domestic violence restraining order violations, the sheriff’s department never arrested or cited Macias, and only filed two police reports. By failing to enforce the law, Macias was free to track Teresa down and murder her. The lawsuit seeks to establish a woman’s constitutional right under the Equal Protection Clause to hold police legally accountable for their response to violence against women.

Sources:

Purple Berets Press Release; 05/31/02

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