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Texas resident pleads guilty for racist attack on four Indian-American women

The hate crime, recorded on a smartphone video, occurred in a parking lot near the Sixty Vines restaurant in Plano on Aug. 24, 2022.

Esmeralda Upton’s arrest mugshot. / Chandra Law Firm

Esmeralda Upton, a resident of Plano in Texas, on June.14 pleaded guilty to three counts of assault and one count of making terrorist threats after her unprovoked, racist attack on four Indian-American women.

The hate crime, recorded on a smartphone video, occurred in a parking lot near the Sixty Vines restaurant in Plano on Aug. 24, 2022.

While the four Indian-American friends were walking through the parking lot and chatting after their meal, Upton — a total stranger to them — confronted them, Chandra Law Firm reported. She screamed, “I hate you f***g Indians.”

Upton admitted that during the encounter, she assaulted at least three of the women, including Anamika Chatterjee, and threatened to shoot them.

When Chatterjee, who is represented by Chandra Law Firm, and the other women asked Upton to leave them alone, Upton yelled, “Go back to India!” and “If things are so great in your country, then stay there!”

Chatterjee and her three friends are all citizens of the United States.

The video clips also show Upton with her hand in her handbag, threatening to “blow your f***ng curry—” and “f***ing shoot your ass.” After the police finally arrived, according to a police report, Upton admitted to hitting Chatterjee and her friends but claimed they were "videoing and saying all of this stuff that I wasn't doing," adding, "That's what they do. Just like the Black people."

Upton was convicted on charges that included a hate-crime specification according to Texas law. She received a 40-day jail sentence at Collin County Jail, with the condition to serve on weekends, starting July.19, 2024. The court cautioned her that any failure to appear or tardiness would result in consecutive serving of the entire sentence. This arrangement was part of a plea deal reached between the Collin County District Attorney's office and Upton's legal representatives, Chandra Law Firm reported. 

With Upton's guilty plea, the ongoing civil lawsuit filed by the victims includes allegations of assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and defamation. Under Texas law, her plea means she cannot evade civil responsibility for the assault and battery charges, and she's likely to be held liable for the intentional infliction of emotional distress as well.

Upton did not offer apologies either to the court or to the victims of her racist crimes.



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