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Plano, Texas News

Plano Woman Pleads Guilty to Hate Crime Charges for 2022 Assault Incident

Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis announced that Esmeralda Upton, 59, of Plano, pled guilty to four state Hate Crime charges related to an incident outside of the Sixty Vines Restaurant in Plano in August of 2022.

Upton was convicted on Friday of three misdemeanor Assault charges and one misdemeanor charge of Terroristic Threat involving four separate victims. Each charge included the Texas Hate Crime enhancement alleging that Upton intentionally selected the victim because of Upton’s bias and prejudice against the victim’s race and national origin.

According to investigative documents and video from the scene, on August 24, 2022, outside of the Sixty Vines Restaurant in Plano, Upton physically assaulted three women and threatened a fourth while making racially charged statements towards them. Several of the victims then began recording the crime on their cell phones. All four victims are of South Asian descent. Even after Plano Police arrived on the scene, Upton continued her racially charged comments and was eventually 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. Indeed, America is the only nation on earth defined more by its ideals than by race or ethnicity. I’d like to thank United States 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,” said Willis.

Upton was sentenced to two years of community supervision probation and 40 days confinement in the Collin County Jail for each of the cases. The incarceration will be served concurrently, and Upton was assessed a fine of $500 in each case.

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