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Friday, November 8, 2019

Prison Escape By Bureaucratic Foul-Up

     In 2010, Tony Maycon Munoz-Mendez, an illegal alien from Guatemala with at least two arrests for driving while intoxicated in Georgia, resided with his girlfriend in a town outside of Atlanta.

     In the spring of 2014,  Gwinnett County prosecutor John Warr charged Munoz-Mendez with raping his girlfriend's daughter during a two-year period beginning in 2010 when the girl was ten. Munoz-Mendez maintained his innocence, and was supported in his claim by the victim's mother. (The child was removed from the home and placed with a foster family. Her mother was later charged with second-degree child cruelty.)

     While awaiting his trial in the Gwinnett County Jail, the accused child rapist wrote a letter to the judge in which he said: "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 am innocent."

     In April 2015, a Gwinnett County jury found the defendant guilty of several counts of rape and aggravated child molestation. The judge sentenced Munoz-Mendez to three life sentences.

     The convicted rapist began serving his time at the Rogers State Prison in nearby Reidsville, Georgia.

     At 11:30 on Friday morning, October 25, 2019, officials at Rogers State Prison mistakenly released the 31-year-old child rapist back into society. The people responsible for this stupendous foul-up didn't get around to notifying law enforcement that Munoz-Mendez was on the loose until the following Monday, October 28, 2019. (They either didn't catch the error until then or deliberately delayed notification.)

     Prison spokesperson Lori Benot released a press statement that didn't explain exactly how this corrections fiasco had unfolded. The escape had been, according to the release, a bureaucratic error. That was it.

     On Wednesday, October 30, 2019, U.S. Marshals and ICE agents arrested the prison escapee in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, a town across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. The apprehension took place about 500 miles north of Rogers State Prison in Reidsville, Georgia. 

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