Tejano singer Joe Lopez released from prison

Tejano superstar Joe Lopez has been released from a state prison.

A spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Huntsville said Lopez was released from prison at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

The spokesman said Lopez was picked up from the prison in a private vehicle.

The Tejano singer was granted parole last year after serving 11 years in state prison.

Lopez was convicted in October 2006 on two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of indecency with a child. A Cameron County jury found him guilty on charges of sexually assaulting a female relative in April 2004 at his Rancho Viejo condo.

Lopez was sentenced to 32 years in prison, but because he served the sentences concurrently rather than consecutively, his punishment amounted to 20 years.

Lopez had been scheduled to be released from prison last October, but that release date was changed. He was ordered to complete a nine-month sex offender program before he could be released.

According to TDCJ, the conditions of Lopez’s parole include the following:

>>No contact with the victim;

>>No unsupervised contact with children under 17 years;

>>Sex offender registration;

>>Prohibition on internet access for certain sex offenders;

>>Sex offender program;

>>Super Intensive Supervision Program;

>>Offender shall not reside with, contact, or cause to be contacted any person 17 years of age, or younger, in person, by telephone, correspondence, video or audio device, third person, media, or any electronic means, unless approved by the supervising parole officer;

>>Offender shall not enter the specified county(ies) without prior approval: Harris County, Texas.

Lopez’s family could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Lopez, 58, co-founded Grupo Mazz during the 1970s and became the group’s lead vocalist, producing several hits and albums. He and co-founder Jimmy Gonzalez split in 1998 and formed separate bands, but each managed to keep the name Mazz in some sort of fashion.

Mando San Roman, morning disc jockey for Super Tejano 102.1, said the radio station had been getting calls from listeners asking when Lopez would be released from prison.

A lot of people have been calling since news broke out that he was going to be released. A lot of people were inquiring about when and what date,” San Roman said.

Also, the listeners would call the station requesting songs by Lopez because they wanted to hear his music.

He is one of the Tejano favorites regardless of what happened. The people have continued to request it and certainly every time that something arises in the news about him, we get more requests for it. The music has never been forgotten, never,” San Roman said.

San Roman said the station hopes to get an interview with Lopez in the very near future.

We are glad that Joe Lopez has served his time and has been paroled. We are looking forward to hearing more from Joe, his music and future recordings,” San Roman said.

lmartinez@brownsvilleherald.com