Merced County Jail Accidentally Releases Child Molester

Sheriff Says it was "Human Error"

MERCED, Calif. --  A Merced man who plead guilty to molesting a young girl was released from jail by accident.

38 year old Primitivo Gonzalez was booked into the jail without bail but was released from custody on November 26th after posting bail.

The Merced County Sheriff, Vern Warnke, said they didn't know he was gone until 7-8 days later.

The Merced County Sheriff said it was a mistake because the clerk didn't realize there was a second minute order. The clerk was looking at an order from a previous court appearance.

A minute order shows the orders from judges.

The Sheriff said Gonzalez escaped to Mexico and they are now working with the Mexican consulate to get him back.

"The unfortunate part is human error took a part in this and we let him out of our jail. When the mistake was made, proper channels were taken and our specialized team started to track him down," said Sheriff Vern Warnke, Merced County.

Warnke said he didn't notify the public because Gonzalez was in Mexico and didn't pose a threat to the public.      

The Sheriff said that the error in the system has been fixed and that clerk will continue to work in the jail.

The Sheriff apologizes to the victim and her family and will make sure justice is served.


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