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Mixup Leads to Release of Parolee Accused of Child Rape

A convicted child rapist is back on the streets even after he was accused of another rape.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR -- It's another case critics say points to a broken corrections system in Arkansas.
   
A convicted child rapist is back on the streets even after he was accused of another rape.

Tony Edward Perry, 50, was released from jail Wednesday after an apparent mixup between corrections officials.

In the North Little Rock neighborhood where Perry lived before his arrest, residents are worried.

"That man doesn't need to be on this block anymore... for the safety of the kids," said resident Sissy Hatton.  

According to a corrections official, Perry was convicted in 1991 of raping a child and is currently on parole after serving just 18 months of a seven-year sentence stemming from a 2010 theft case.
   
In July, court records show Perry was charged with another rape.

"Most recently he's been charged with raping a 14 year old," said State Senator David Sanders (R)-Little Rock, a long-time critic of the state's parole system. 

Under new Department of Community of Correction policies, parolees charged with felonies are not supposed to be released from jail until they face a parole revocation hearing where they could be sent back to prison.
   
Perry spent 37 days at the Pulaski County jail, but a hearing was never set.  He was released Wednesday

"I don't know anyone who can look at this case and say from any objective standpoint that he should be allow in any way to be out on the street," Sanders said.

Sanders says the Perry case shows reforms put in place after DCC began taking heat over its supervision of parolees aren't working.
   
A DCC spokeswoman said Sunday that a warrant to hold Perry in jail was issued five days before his release, but jail officials say they never received it.

"I think we need to be looking at other policies, at other law changes that will allow us to get this under control," Sanders said.

In the meantime, parole officers are trying to track Perry down.  So far, they haven't been able to find him.

"I'm scared of the safety of my nieces, my cousins, my friends and their kids," Hatton said.

Senator Sanders says legislation he sponsored during the last session is designed to prevent cases like this from happening.

Those reforms are set to go into place next week.

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