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November 8, 2012

Woman sentenced in hot oil attack

SALEM — One woman has gone to jail for at least a year and then faces deportation, while another will spend the rest of her life covered in scars on her face, chest and arms.

And the man they fought over was nowhere to be seen yesterday in Salem Superior Court, where a judge stated what a lot of people likely wonder in such scenarios: “I’ll never understand why the jealousy is always focused on the other woman,” said Judge David Lowy.

During an emotional hearing, Judith Medina, 45, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who has sent two of her children to college, tearfully apologized after admitting that she splashed boiling hot oil onto the 22-year-old woman she found in her boyfriend’s apartment one morning last April.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered over at the victim after pleading guilty to charges of assault and battery causing serious bodily injury and assault and battery.

Prosecutor Kristen Buxton described to Lowy what happened that morning of April 14.

The 22-year-old woman, Maria Mejia, was cooking plantains in a pan of hot oil in the Lawrence apartment of a man named Randy Serrano, 35.

The apartment was filled with children of both Mejia and Serrano.

Then, Medina let herself in, using a key she had been given. She and Serrano had been dating for some seven years, her lawyer said yesterday.

Buxton said Medina had been told that Serrano was cheating on her, but defense lawyer Amanda Barker said she had no idea she would find the other woman there that morning.

There was a confrontation in the kitchen, as the victim stood near the stove cooking. Suddenly, Medina swept her hand, moving the pan enough to send hot oil flying out and onto Mejia.

The younger woman screamed in pain, said Buxton, and the two began to struggle. Medina then scratched the victim’s face.

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