Georgia Department of Corrections on Monday, October 29, said the Rogers State Prison in Reidsville mistakenly released a convicted rapist and child abuser -- Tony Maycon Munoz-Mendez, 31 who was convicted of charges of rape and aggravated child molestation and had been serving a life sentence since April 2015. He was released 'in error' on October 25, it said.
While it is not yet revealed was what led to Munoz-Mendez's release, police spokeswoman Lori Benoit told CNN that the Department of Corrections is reviewing the incident surrounding the culprit's release. He is described to be about 5-foot-9 and weighing 186 pounds according to official reports. "All resources are being utilized to ensure the rapid apprehension of Munoz-Mendez, including the Georgia Department of Corrections Fugitive Unit and US Marshals," the statement by Department of Corrections read.
The prosecutor of Gwinnett County who was key to put him behind bars said he was surprised and dumbfounded as the victim was not even informed as per the procedure. John Warr, the prosecutor, told 11Alive that he is angry at the outcome.
Munoz-Mendez, who had been living with the pre-teen girl's mother when he committed the offence in 2010, was sentenced to life term in prison. "The child ended up testifying... She did outstanding," he said remembering the case vividly. Munoz-Mendez was sentenced to life in 2015 but released on Friday by mistake, after he had served only four and a half years of jail term.
Warr said no one from the state notified him, or the girl or the new foster mother of the victim. "So, I contacted the foster mother of the victim, immediately, and informed her what was going on. He'd already been out of prison the whole weekend," said the prosecutor.
The incident comes weeks after a man convicted of charges including domestic violence, drug, escape and theft was mistakenly released from the Cuyahoga County Jail in Ohio and put on parole. Officials brought the 36-year-old back into custody days after his release when he showed up to meet his parole officer, according to reports.
Within days of the mishap in Ohio prison, the Bexar County Adult Detention Center also accidentally released a convict, 56-year-old Mitchell Boren earlier this month. An error in connection with faxes and paperwork was cited as an explanation of the incident. Boren was taken into custody by the officials a day later.