Plano woman convicted in 2022 racist assault

Photo courtesy of Plano Police

59 year old Esmeralda Upton, a Plano resident, entered a guilty plea to four state hate crime counts in connection with an August 2022 incident that occurred outside of the Sixty Vines restaurant, according to District Attorney Greg Willis.

Based on investigative evidence and footage from the scene, on August 24, 2022, four women of South Asian descent were both verbally and physically assaulted outside of a Sixty Vines restaurant in Plano. In the video footage, Upton physically assaulted three of the women, threatened the fourth and made racially charged comments to all the women. Upton made comments saying “We don’t want you here” and “Go back to India.” Victims recorded the crime on their cell phones and the videos went viral on social media. Eventually, Plano Police arrived on the scene and Upton continued making racially charged comments, later being arrested on state charges. 

“As Americans, we should all be able to enjoy our Constitutional liberties, free and secure from this type of racially motivated assault,” Willis said. “Indeed, America is the only nation on earth defined more by its ideals than by race or ethnicity. I’d like to thank the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas, Attorney Damien Diggs and his prosecutors, the Plano Police Department and the FBI Dallas Field Office for their work and partnership on this important case.” 

On Friday, Upton was found guilty on three counts of misdemeanor assault and one count of misdemeanor terrorist threat involving the four different victims. The Texas Hate Crime enhancement was added to each charge, which claimed that Upton purposefully chose the victim due to prejudice and hatred toward the victim’s race and national origin.

In each of the cases, Upton received a sentence which includes 40 days in the Collin County Jail and two years of community supervised probation. The terms of the imprisonment are to be served consecutively, and Upton was fined $500 in each case.

 

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