Mexico, September 22: Fallen Mexican pop diva Gloria Trevi was freed from prison on Tuesday after being found not guilty of helping to kidnap and rape teenage girls lured into her cult-like musical clan by dreams of stardom.
Judge Javier Pineda acquitted Trevi, 36, and two backup singers on charges of acting as accomplices in the corruption, kidnapping and rape of minors by Trevi’s former manager and ex-lover, Sergio Andrade.
As she left the prison, Trevi — once known as Mexico’s Madonna for her irreverent lyrics, raunchy stage shows and pin-up calendars — told hundreds of cheering, singing fans that she had already written songs for a planned new album.
“It really surprised me that … Mexican justice can recognize when there is no reason to convict somebody, and you’ve got to have balls to do that,” Trevi said.
She calmly stroked a golden rosary while sitting behind a white mesh cage as the sentence was read. After the nationally televised verdict, the courtroom burst into applause.
Andrade’s trial is still ongoing.
The verdict was the culmination of a five-year saga for Trevi filled with surreal soap opera twists, including her mysterious pregnancy in a prison cell where she was not allowed conjugal visits. Her son, Angel Gabriel, was born in prison.
KIDNAP OF UNDERAGE GIRLS
Trevi and Andrade were arrested in 2000 in Brazil after living for several months as fugitives from sexual abuse charges in Mexico. They were extradited after a drawn-out legal battle.
A backup singer, Karina Yapor, had accused Trevi of helping Andrade kidnap underage girls, recruited to live with the group for musical training, so he could sexually abuse them.
Yapor, who joined Trevi’s group when she was 17, later had a baby and said Andrade was the father.
Andrade and Trevi said the charges were orchestrated by Mexico’s TV Azteca out of revenge after the popular singer signed a contract with rival broadcaster Televisa.
Trevi claimed she was raped by federal guards at the Brasilia jail where she became pregnant while fighting extradition. She refused to name the father of her baby, born in February 2002.
DNA samples determined that Andrade was the biological father, though Trevi’s defense team maintained the results were altered.
The daughter of a middle-class family, Trevi grew up in the northern industrial hub of Monterrey and had stage ambitions from an early age, studying ballet and piano.
At 16 she was discovered by Andrade, already a successful manager of performers. In 1991, her second album, “Tu Angel de la Guarda” (“Your Guardian Angel”), brought Trevi international fame.