Friday, 15 May 2009 15:57

Tejano artist Joe Lopez loses court appeal?

The ongoing saga of Mazz's Joe Lopez entered a new somber chapter Friday with the news that he has lost his appeal before the 13th Court of Criminal Appeals to overturn his 2006 conviction on aggravated sexual assault charges of a child.

As detailed in various news reports, the essence of the

new development is that the Appeals Court issued a ruling that said it agreed with a Cameron County jury's decision that found the Tejano singer guilty on the sexual assault of female relative at his Rancho Viejo condo in April 2004.

As the Brownsville Herald detailed in this report, the decision comes more than two years after Lopez, the former lead singer of Grupo Mazz, filed his appeal. Lopez was convicted on two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count on indecency with a child.

Joe Lopez as lead singer, and his partner, Jimmy Gonzalez, led their Brownsville-based band Mazz into the upper hieghts of Tejano music, especially during Tejano's massive renassiance of the early to mid '90s.

During those years, Mazz was a major driving force that produced a serious of groundbreaking albums that to this day still resonate among the Tejano music nation for the passion and vibrancy of those hits. Those CDs were: "No Te Olvidare" - 1989; "Para Nuestra Gente" - 1990; "Straight From the Heart" - 1992.

They also scored with a dozen top memorable hits such as "Vuelvo," "Laura Ya No Vive Aqui," "Decidelo," "Perdoname," and others.

Those early '90s albums are still considered among the all-time best in Tejano music history. Lopez and Gonzalez split in 1998, each forming their own version of Mazz.

Christina Hernandez, founder of the group was unavailable for comment. She and family members, including Joe Lopez's brother Lorenzo, his wife Judy and others have been working hard for two years campaigning to increase awareness of the Lopez case. Here is a photo of Hernandez and Judy at right.

In the Herald report, Brownsville attorney Michael Young, who defended Lopez during his trial, said although he was dissappointed by the court's decision, he accepted it. "I'm very disappointed that Joe Lopez is not going to get another trial," Young told the Brownsville Herald. "My best wishes go out to the family."

In the argumentsLopez'slawyers presentedtothe court, they contended that the evidence was "factually" insufficient to support his conviction and that the trial court abused its position by not granting a motion for a mistrial because of mid-trial publicity.

The attorneys also argued that the victim's testimony was not credible because she tried to collect $35 million from him in exchange for her dropping the charges.

However, the 13th Court of Appeals ruled against both of Lopez's arguments. The decision comes more than two years after the appeal was filed.

"We were fairly certain that the defendant's appeal would be denied," said Cameron County District Attorney Armando R. Villalobos in a written statement.

Lopez remains incarcerated at the Ramsey Unit in Rosharon, Texas.

For additional details and much more background on the court appeal decision check out the Herald's report, Also, this fascinating Court Appeal decision letter. 


Photo gallery coming
Mazz's Joe López breaks his silence
Tragedy In April rocks Rio Grande Valley
Lopez's brother: 'Joe Lopez is not doing good'
Mazz's Jimmy Gonzalez back in hospital for weekend observation
Mazz' s Jimmy Gonzalez is out of hospital; back home resting
Mazz's Jimmy Gonzalez back in hospital for weekend observation
Tears, anger, fear and sadness in Brownsville