A well-known Tejano singer has been granted parole after raping his 13-year-old niece.
Joe Lopez, the former lead singer of Tejano group Grupo Mazz, was sentenced to 32 years for the crime. Twenty of those years were concurrent. He's served 10 of them and the parole board just granted him parole.
"It feels like a slap in my face," said Krystal Lopez.
Krystal Lopez is his niece. She's now in her twenties but she was just 13 when her uncle, Joe Lopez, took her innocence.
Krystal said she just heard that Joe Lopez was granted parole. She didn't even know about it. Victim advocate Andy Kahan said the state doesn't notify victims about parole eligibility unless you sign up for it.
"You must take control of the process. You must register yourself. It's very simple. All anyone has to do is contact Texas Department of Justice Victims Services," Kahan said.
Kahan is working to help Krystal Lopez. On Thursday, they will meet with the parole board to request that they re-vote on Joe Lopez's parole decision and overturn it.
Despite the parole, Lopez remains behind bars. Kahan said as part of the conditions of Lopez's parole he must complete a sex offender course, which will take at least four months.
The number for the Texas Department of Justice Victims Services is 1-800-848-4284.
Well-known Tejano singer convicted of sex assault to be freed