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Psychology professor, Norma Patricia Esparza, sentenced to six years in prison for murder of, Gonzalo Ramirez, the man she claims raped her

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Norma Patricia Esparza, 41, pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter for 1995 murder of Gonzalo Ramirez

The former psychology professor, claims Ramirez, raped her

Esparza and ex-boyfriend Gianni Van, kidnapped and killed  Ramirez in Orange County, CA

Sentenced to six years in prison

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Norma Patricia Esparza was sentenced to six years in prison on Friday.

 A psychology professor at Webster University, Geneva, was sentenced to six years in prison on Friday for the 1995 slaying of the man she says raped her when she was a college student in California.
Norma Patricia Esparza, 41, was accused of conspiring to kill 24-year-old Gonzalo Ramirez, with three others in spring of 1995 while she was a student at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
20-year-old Esparza went to a bar in her home city of Santa Ana after the alleged rape incident and pointed out the man she said raped her in her dorm room.
The next day, police found Ramirez’s dead body on the side of the road. he had been beaten to death and hacked with a meat cleaver.
Esparza, agreed to testify against her co-defendants for an anticipated six-year-sentence, the Orange County district attorney’s office said. Two years ago  she took the plea deal  for  a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter. The original murder rap carried a possible life sentence if convicted, a risk which she was was unwilling to take , according to her attorney, Jack Earley,  considering that she is married and has a young daughter. The court heard that though Esparza did not intend for Ramirez to be killed, she was not forthcoming about the slaying when police confronted her about it almost two decades ago.
Esparza who was born in Mexico,  grew up in California. She attended  the elite Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire on a scholarship.She later received a doctorate in psychology and worked as a consultant for the World Health Organization and as a professor in Switzerland.

Norma Patricia Esparza and her co-defendants

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Norma Patricia Esparza was a 20-year-old student who reported a dorm rape to her then boyfriend, Gianni Van

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Gianni Van, 43, was arrested in Costa Mesa and was charged with murder and conspiracy. Serving life in prison for the murder

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Gonzalo Dominguez Ramirez, 24, beaten and hacked with meat cleaver in April 1995, then dumped near Freeway

Shannon Ray Gries1Shannon Ray Gries, 41, one of the assailants who abducted Ramirez

The case went unsolved for years, but Esparza was finally arrested in 2012 on a trip to the U.S. She had been living in France and teaching in Switzerland.
Her co-defendants Van, 45, and Shannon Ray Gries, 43, were charged with felony murder in the commission of a kidnapping. A third suspect, Diane Tran, 45, of Costa Mesa, pled guilty in 2014 to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to four years in prison.
Tran’s husband, Kody Tran, who was also a suspect in the case, shot himself during a standoff with police.
Esparza claimed that her boyfriend Van was behind the murder, and that she was never a willing participant.

Norma Patricia Esparza3.jpgNorma Esparza and daughter Arianna

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Norma Patricia Esparza and husband, renowned medical researcher Jorge Mancillas

She claimed that she was “dragged, pressured, bullied, intimidated” by Van on the night of the murder.
“It just hurts me so much that I had been raped, and here he (Van) is, instead of consoling me, he destroyed the rest of my life,” she told the “Today” show. “You know, the abuse was difficult, the rape was difficult, but dragging me through that night, it haunts me.”She said her boyfriend blamed her for not preventing the rape. He then forced her to marry him in an attempt to keep her quiet, she said.

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Kody Tran, a suspect in the case, shot himself during a standoff with police.

Diane Tran2Kody’s wife Diane Tran, 44, pled guilty in 2014 to voluntary manslaughter, sentenced to four years
Esparza’s husband Jorge Mancillas told reporters in 2013 his wife had confided to Van about the rape and Van took matters into his own hands. Van was sentenced to life without parole for Ramirez’s murder last year.

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