Man Accused of Rape, Kidnapping Mistakenly Released

Dallas DA: "We have been operating on the cheap and this is what you get"

By Ellen Goldberg
|  Monday, Aug 31, 2009  |  Updated 11:37 PM CDT
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Police Search for Man Mistakenly Released from Jail

AP

Dallas police said a man accused of hiring someone to kidnap the teenage victim in his upcoming sexual assault trial was mistakenly released from jail this weekend.

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Police Search for Man Mistakenly Released from Jail

The man allegedly hired people to kidnap the teenager he is accused of sexually assaulting.
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Dallas police said a man accused of hiring someone to kidnap the teenager he is accused of sexually assaulting was mistakenly released from jail this weekend.

Ezequiel Moreno allegedly hired someone last week to kidnap the 16-year-old Dallas girl days before she was scheduled to testify against him in court, police said.

"Right now, with him out, I feel so unsafe," the girl said.

Moreno was facing trial for allegations that he sexually assaulted the girl, a high school sophomore.

The girl and her mother were kidnapped Wednesday night from the parking lot of a Dallas shopping center and driven across the state.

"They promised me he was never going to get out of jail," the girl said.

Moreno didn't even spend two full nights in the Dallas County Jail.

"This is what happens when we don't adequately fund our criminal justice system," District Attorney Craig Watkins said.

Watkins said prosecutors in his office asked a judge on Thursday that Moreno be held without bond, a request that was approved.

"It was put on a computer here at the courthouse," Watkins said. "Well, the jail, they have a different computer system, and they don't talk to one another, so it takes a clerk to actually walk that information over to the jail."

In the two days that process took, Moreno walked out of jail, posting his original $100,000 bond early Saturday morning.

"When they gave me that news, imagine how I felt," the 16-year-old girl said.

There is now a Dallas Police car permanently parked outside her home.

NBCDFW.com generally does not identify victims of sexual assault and is not naming the girl.

Dallas police said they are doing everything they can to keep the teenager and her family from becoming victims yet again. The U.S. Marshals are assisting Dallas police in the search for Moreno.

Anyone with information that leads to an arrest in the case is eligible for a $5,000 reward.

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