Rapist released after guilty verdict, ordered to turn himself in on Monday

Mario Lopez, 61, of Las Cruces, NM, was released on a $15,000 unsecured bond shortly after the jury announced its guilty verdict Thursday.  An unsecured bond is one in which the person bonding signs an piece of paper agreeing to be liable for the bond amount but does not have to put up any cash or collateral.  The only other condition Chief District Judge Fernando Macias attached to Lopez’ release was a verbal agreement from Lopez that he would surrender himself to the detention center on Monday, four days hence.

The jury found Lopez guilty of one count of criminal sexual penetration after a two-day trial in which the victim testified.  According to redacted court documents, the rape occurred in 2015 and the female victim is a family member of Lopez.

After the guilty verdict was announced Thursday, Macias granted Lopez an unsecured $15,000 bond and ordered him to report to the detention center on Monday, October 10 for a 60-day diagnostic evaluation prior to sentencing.  It is not clear what Lopez will be evaluated for.

Prosecutors urged Judge Macias to reconsider releasing Lopez virtually on his word that he would surrender himself to the detention center in four days.  They argued that Lopez faces three years in prison, continues to present a danger to the community, and poses a flight risk.

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