Tejano Music Awards shouldn’t honor convicted sex offender Joe Lopez | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

The 43rd annual Tejano Music Awards will go on this Saturday in San Antonio’s Boeing Center at Tech Port. 

It shouldn’t — at least not as planned — if the people behind the show stubbornly refuse to rescind the decision to bestow a lifetime achievement award on the “most well-known sex offender in the state of Texas.”

And that’s just what his attorneys called José “Joe” Lopez in 2006 during the sentencing phase of his trial for sexual assault and indecency with a child.

His victim: A niece. At the time of the rape, she was 13.

ELAINE AYALA: Catch up with Elaine’s podcast ‘Nosotros’

Lopez, a Grammy winner, vocalist, songwriter and co-founder of the famed Grupo Mazz, doesn’t deserve an award of any kind.

He deserves the restrictions the state placed on him after his 2018 release. The state ordered him to register as a sex offender and stay out of Harris County, where the victim lives.

But in 2019, he performed in Houston after the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles modified his release restrictions. A victims advocate called it a “potentially sinister message” to other victims of sexual violence.

Lopez has long fought his conviction, even more so as he attempts a comeback. This award may well be the result of intensive lobbying by his camp.

But if Lopez wants to continue to work as an entertainer, if he wants to redeem himself, he doesn’t need an award.

He needs to show remorse and take responsibility for his actions — finally. 

To date, he has not.

His victim deserves better.

Tejano music fans deserve better, and so does the venue that will host Saturday’s show.

To better understand why it can’t go on, we need to dive into the archives.

ELAINE AYALA: ‘The sense of loss never leaves you,’ nor should honoring the dead

In October 2006, a Cameron County jury found Lopez guilty of two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of indecency with a child.

He received a 20-year sentence for the first count of aggravated sexual assault of a child, 8½ years for the second and four years for indecency with a child.

He served the terms concurrently, and the state paroled him in 2018. 

It’s important for his fans and those still in Lopez’s camp to recall the details.

In 2004, his niece was temporarily staying in Lopez’s home just outside Brownsville.

The victim testified Lopez raped her the first time they were alone. She had stayed home sick from school the day of the rape.

DNA evidence linked Lopez to semen found on the girl’s shorts. His attorneys called the evidence tainted because Lopez’s clothes were in the same hamper.

Other victims testified, including a San Antonio woman who told the jury she had had a consensual sexual relationship with Lopez when she was 14. 

Another woman testified Lopez raped her in 1977 while they were in college. She came forward after hearing about the case.

Notably, Lopez rejected a plea deal that called for 120 days in jail plus probation. That looked like arrogance.

The parole board required him to complete a four-month sex-offender program, then upped it to a nine-month program.

It required him to admit wrongdoing. He never finished it.

José Rosario Gonzalez, a former Sony Music and Capitol Records executive, called the decision to award Lopez a lifetime achievement award “a mistake.”

The San Antonian noted other artists deserve consideration.

The industry and its fans need more time to heal, he added, so does Lopez’s victim and her family.

Roberto Treviño, executive director of the Network of Young Artists, a nonprofit performing arts school, agreed.

He also noted, like others have, that Lopez has taken credit for the success of Grupo Mazz. Many believe that success belongs much more to the late Jimmy Gonzalez, the group’s other founder.

It would make more sense to honor the group, rather than an individual, he said.

Rebecca Grande Valadez, who was in the 2000 stage musical “Selena Forever” on the life of the late Tejano music star, also expressed concerns about how much credit Lopez has taken for Grupo Mazz’s success.

She toured with the band when she was 14. 

“I did see bad things,” she said. “My mother saw all the bad things. When I found out he was charged with raping a minor, it was not surprising.”

That was another time, Grande Valadez said of the pre-#MeToo movement.  “Thank God, it has changed.”

Yet some things never change.

In this case, it’s the inability of the people behind the Tejano Music Awards to protect the organization from a self-inflicted wound.

Source link


Click Here For The Original Source.

National Cyber Security