The victim in the case against Joe Lopez has spoken out against the parole board’s decision to let the former Tejano star out of prison.
The Brownsville Herald reports that Krystal Lopez disagrees with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles decision to parole Lopez, Krystal’s uncle, after 10 years in prison. In 2006, Lopez was convicted of three counts of sex offense charges and sentenced to 32 years in prison from his October 2004 rape of Krystal, when she was only 13 years old.
“It’s basically like a slap in my face,” Krystal, now 26, told The Brownsville Herald in a telephone interview. “Why would you give him 32 years and he serves 10?”
Krystal said the parole board failed to notify her of its plans to vote on Lopez’s parole and denied her the opportunity to make her case against Lopez.
“I am against and will voice out against Mr. Lopez’s parole in every way,” she wrote in a letter to the parole board that was given to The Brownsville Herald. “I ask that the parole board reconsider his parole or hold another hearing where I can have the opportunity to speak out against it.”
Krystal didn’t not want to remain anonymous like most rape victims whose names are usually withheld in media coverage.
“It’s not a big secret,” she said about her identity to The Brownsville Herald. “People are bashing my name on the internet. (Lopez) wants to put his name out there on everything. I am, too. I’m going to put my name out there and not be afraid.”
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice website says that Lopez was approved for parole on January 6. He will transfer to a Sex Offender Education Program (SOEP) and release to parole after completion and not earlier than four months from January 2017.
The parole board cited two reasons behind its decision to grant Lopez parole, including his completion of “programs and activities in the individual treatment program plan that should enhance chances to obtain and maintain full-time employment” and because this was his first incarceration, said Timothy McDonnell, board administrator for the Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Joe Lopez has always maintained his innocence on the charges.
Read the full story at BrownsvilleHerald.com.