A convicted child rapist who was released from prison “in error” last week has been apprehended in Kentucky.
The Georgia Department of Corrections confirmed on social media that Tony Maycon Munoz-Mendez was captured in Ft. Thomas, Kentucky around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night ending a massive search effort to recover the prisoner.
The effort to apprehend Munoz-Mendez—who had been convicted of repeatedly raping his girlfriend’s young daughter—was led by the Georgia Department of Corrections Fugitive Unit, the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
Munoz-Mendez was released “in error” around 11:30 a.m. Friday from the Rogers State Prison in Reidsville, Georgia, according to the corrections department.
Authorities have not said what led to the accidental release.
Munoz-Mendez was convicted of rape and aggravated child molestation in Gwinnett County and had been behind bars since 2015 serving a life sentence, according to court records obtained by WSB-TV.
He reportedly repeatedly raped his girlfriend’s young daughter while living in the family’s home, local station WXIA-TV reports. He was convicted of acts committed in 2010 and 2012.
“This one was especially bad,” prosecutor John Warr told WXIA-TV, after hearing of the mistaken release.
Despite his eventual conviction, Munoz-Mendez proclaimed his innocence in a letter to the judge in the case in 2014.
"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,” he wrote. “I know I'm innocent."
Authorities are now conducting a “full internal investigation” to determine how he was released, according to a statement from Georgia Department of Corrections Director of Public Affairs Joan Heath obtained by The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
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