Joe Lopez’s legal team says he’ll be home in months time. After more than 10 years behind bars, Tejano musician Joe Lopez is granted parole. According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Lopez’s last parole review was approved. Lopez is set to be transferred to a sex offender education program and released after he completes it. However, he cannot be released earlier than four months.
Back in 2006, Lopez was convicted of molesting a 13-year-old relative but has claimed he’s innocent. His family agrees, and says judicial corruption put him behind bars. One of Tejano music’s most well-known singer has been behind bars for nearly 10 years.
Thursday, Lopez’s attorney Willliam Habern confirmed his mission to have Lopez’s conviction exonerated.
When released Habern said “Joe is going to need time.”
During his incarceration Lopez’s health began to fail. Habern did not go into detail but did say Lopez has written more than 100 songs.
Habern estimates Lopez to need a year of acclimation and rest before he can hit the stage once again.
Joe Lopez is considered an icon in the Tejano music world, co-founding Grammy award winning Grupo Mazz back in the 70’s. However, his musical accolades are arguably overshadowed by his 2006 conviction of sexually assaulting a minor.
Joe Lopez was sentenced to 32-years in prison.
He served nearly 10 years at at W.F. Ramsey Unit in Rosharon, Texas.
In August of 2016, family and friends, rallied outside the Cameron County Courthouse, urging Cameron County District Attorney, Luis V. Saenz to review Lopez’s case. For years “Free Joe Lopez” supporters claim the trial was rigged, by having biased jurors and key evidence that was either tainted or withheld. “Had jurors seen the evidence he would be out today” said Sandra Trevino.
Their biggest claim to the rigged system is former Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos.
Villalobos is currently in prison convicted of accepting bribes for favors in the courtroom. Lopez’s supporter argue Villalobos had a vendetta leading into the trial.
“You have an innocent man sitting in prison due to a campaign event that Joe was supposed to play at. He (Villalobos) did not cancel in time so you don’t get your money back and because of that Joe Lopez is sitting in prison.” Said Sandra Trevino.
Sandra Trevino’s her husband was exonerated for sexual assault. Her husband’s attorney, William Habern, is now Lopez’s current attorney and is fighting to have Lopez’s case exonerated as well.
“So let’s do the right thing and let’s bring Joe home and exonerate him. It’s time” demanded Sandra Trevino.