Manhunt Launched for Convicted Child Rapist Mistakenly Released From Prison

October 29, 2019 Updated: October 29, 2019

A man convicted of rape and child molestation was mistakenly released, prison officials in Georgia said.

Tony Maycon Munoz-Mendez, 31, was convicted of rape and aggravated child molestation and began serving a life sentence in April 2015, jail records showed.

But he was released from Rogers State Prison in Reidsville “in error” at around noon on Oct. 25, the Georgia Department of Corrections said in a statement on Monday.

Officials have not disclosed how the error happened.

“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 public is reminded to call 911, and do not approach,” the department stated.

Munoz-Mendez is described as standing 5-foot 9 and weighing 186 pounds.

John Warr, the prosecutor who put Munoz-Mendez in jail, said that Munoz-Mendez was dating the mother of the girl he molested.

Warr told 11Alive that the molestation began in 2010 when the girl was around 10 years old. Munoz-Mendez later raped the girl over several years. The girl told her mother but the mother did not report the rapes to the police. She later pleaded guilty to child cruelty for not reporting the molestation and rape.

“The child ended up testifying,” Warr said. “She did outstanding … And there was medical evidence to back up both of these counts.”

police car siren
A police car in a file photo. A convicted rapist was released from prison in Georgia on Oct. 25, 2019, “in error,” the state Department of Corrections said on Oct. 28, 2019. (Mira Oberman/AFP/Getty Images)

According to WSB-TV, In 2014, while Mendez was awaiting trial, wrote the judge assigned to his case and said he wanted to return to his children, indicating he was from another country.

“I have no family here in the United States to help me out and I have to rely on myself on everything and it’s hard. I know I’m innocent,” he wrote.

Warr told 11Alive that Munoz-Mendez’s release “incomprehensible” and said no one notified him, the victim, or the victim’s foster mother.

“I saw it on-line” on Monday, on a news site,” Warr said. “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, right?”

“They need to re-think how they’re handling their security, and how they let people out by mistake. It’s incomprehensible,” he added.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber