AceShowbiz - Latin Grammy-winning singer and convicted rapist Joe Lopez has been granted permission to return to Houston, Texas to relaunch his career, even though he was originally barred from the city his victim calls home.
The Tejano musician, born Jose Lopez, was freed on parole in March, 2018 after serving 12 years of a 20-year sentence for sexually assaulting his then-13-year-old niece back in 2004.
As part of the terms of his release, Lopez was ordered to register as a sex offender and stay out of Harris County, where his young relative lives.
However, the 69 year old is now planning to stage his comeback with a sold-out gig in Houston on December 13, after officials at the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles decided he could set foot in the area "solely for employment purposes," citing his "satisfactory compliance with parole since his release," reports The Associated Press.
The ruling, granted last week, has been heavily criticised by local victims' advocates, but Lopez's manager, Sandra Vallejo, insists her client, who maintains his innocence, deserves to rebuild his life as he seeks exoneration.
"For every one person against him, there are three more who support him," she declared.
His attorney, Allison Clayton, added, "Joe is eager to get back performing because he loves his fans so much."
The Houston gig will mark the first in Lopez's Freedom Tour.