Man arrested on child rape charges in Kent County

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. --  A Kent County man was arrested for rape, further sexual assault and porn charges involving children victims as young as two-years-old.

According to the Kent County Sheriff's Department,  Juan "John" Camargo, 63, was arrested for first and second-degree criminal sexual conduct, and the production of sexually abusive material involving at least five children between the ages of two and 12-years-old.

"This is every parent’s worst nightmare," said Kent County Sheriff's Sgt. Joel Roon, who said this case is the worst he's seen.

"This is that nightmare situation where an individual approaches your child on a playground and is able to evolve that contact all the way to sexual abuse. It’s not something that we see very often and it’s scary when we do."

Camargo was reportedly a resident of the Autumn Ridge apartment complex between March and December 2017. Police believe he lured children from the playground at the apartment complex either grooming them or immediately sexually assaulting them.

According to court documents, an eight-year-old victim told police Camargo made her remove her pants and photographed her private parts. Another child under the age of 13 told investigators: Camargo told her to take her clothes off when he was naked, then raped her. This victim's brother also told police he saw Camargo rape his sister.

Camargo also has a lengthy criminal record: including a 1986 conviction for first-degree criminal sexual conduct, which he served less than six years in prison for. He's also convicted with arson, burglary and forgery.

Officials say Camargo was found competent to stand trial. He's been in Kent County Jail since his Dec. 2017 arrest.

"This really emphasizes the need for parents to engage with their children on a daily basis: to talk about body safety, to talk about what’s okay and not okay, and to talk about what to do when they’re faced with a situation," said Sgt. Roon.

The sheriff's office is asking for help in identifying any children who may have had contact with the suspect during that time frame. They add they believe Camargo previously lived in Oceana County and drove an early nineties green Ford F-150. Anyone with further information is asked to call Kent County detectives at: 616-719-4690.

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