Officials in Georgia are looking for a convicted rapist serving a life sentence who was accidentally released from prison by mistake, the state department of corrections said.
Tony Maycon Munoz-Mendez, 31, was "released in error" from Rogers State Prison in Reidsville, Georgia, around 11:30 a.m. Friday, the department said in a statement Monday. The department did not provide details about how the error occurred.
Munoz-Mendez was convicted of two counts of rape in 2015, NBC affiliate WXIA of Atlanta reported.
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John Warr, the prosecutor who handled the case in Gwinnett County, told the station that the case involved a 10-year-old daughter of Munoz-Mendez 's girlfriend at the time.
Munoz-Mendez molested and raped the child, and the abuse spanned several years, beginning in 2010, Warr said. He told WXIA he can't understand how he was released from prison by mistake.
"They need to re-think how they're handling their security, and how they let people out by mistake," Warr told the station. "It's incomprehensible."
Online corrections department records suggest the crimes occurred in 2010 and 2012, and that the sentence began in April 2015.
"All resources are being utilized to ensure the rapid apprehension of Munoz-Mendez," the department of corrections said.
The mother of the victim at first believed Munoz-Mendez's denials of the abuse, and she was charged and pleaded guilty to child cruelty in the second-degree, Warr told WXIA. Munoz-Mendez insisted at trial that he was innocent. The victim who is now in her teens is with a foster family.
Reidsville is a city of around 5,000 around 60 miles west of Savannah. Gwinnett County is northeast of Atlanta.