An Essex man convicted last week of raping his girlfriend's 12-year-old daughter has been mistakenly released from the Baltimore County Detention Center, according to county Sheriff Norman M. Pepersack Jr.
Police are searching for Sheldon Arrington, 24, but have not found him yet, police spokesman Sgt. Stephen Doarnberger said today.
The release occurred at 1:30 p.m. yesterday, amid confusion over three inmates with the same middle and last names.
Sheldon Lee Arrington, the man mistakenly released, is 6 feet tall and weighs 250 pounds.
Prentiss Lee Arrington, the inmate who was to be released on $1,000 bail, is 5-feet-8 and weighs 160 pounds. He is awaiting trial on theft and narcotics charges.
Another inmate named Sean Lee Arrington is still incarcerated.
Pepersack said the mistake occurred when officers called to order Prentiss Arrington brought down for processing for release on bail.
The 520 inmates held in the overcrowded detention center are divided into separate, self-contained pods of cells. The officer, Pepersack said, called the wrong detention pod. That pod also had an inmate named Arrington, and Sheldon Arrington was processed and released.
The mistake was caught at 3 p.m., when record-keeping clerks noticed that the first name shown on release papers differed from the detention center files. Prentiss Arrington was then released, too.
Pepersack said that Sheldon Arrington behaved very casually during processing and authorities believe he thought he was being released on bail as he had been before his trial.
Sheldon Arrington was convicted by a jury on Friday of second-degree rape, second- and third-degree sex offenses, child abuse and battery in connection with three attacks on his girlfriend's daughter last April, according to Baltimore County Circuit Court records.
Sheldon Arrington, who had been allowed free on $10,000 bail before the rape trial, was ordered held without bail Friday by Judge J. William Hinkel, pending his sentencing.
He faces a maximum sentence of 65 years in prison. No sentencing date had been scheduled.