Sergeant: Kent Co. CSC case ‘a parent’s worst nightmare’

Kent County
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PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Investigators say a man facing criminal sexual conduct charges targeted several young girls at a Plainfield Township apartment complex where he was staying, and they’re worried there may be more victims out there.

Sgt. Joel Roon with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office said the suspect, Juan “John” Camargo, was arrested in December and has been in custody since then. Camargo is in the Kent County Jail facing charges of first-degree and second-degree criminal sexual conduct, as well as producing child pornography.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office says Camargo lived at Autumn Ridge Apartments off Mayfield Avenue NE near Plainfield Avenue in Plainfield Township between March 2017 and December 2017, and spent time at the apartment complex’s playground.

The investigation began in November when a mother reported her daughter asked to not see Camargo anymore.

Roon said Camargo was bold in how he approached the girls; that’s why investigators are concerned there may be other victims.

“This is a parent’s worst nightmare because this involves someone who approaches your child at random and develops into abuse. It has everyone a little shaken,” Roon said.

In a Tuesday afternoon statement, Autumn Ridge officials said Camargo was staying at the apartment complex “illegally”:

“Our deepest condolences go out to the victims and their families of this tragic occurrence. The accused suspect was illegally visiting our community without our knowledge and was not an authorized resident of Autumn Ridge Apartments. We are working diligently with the Kent County Sheriff Department to ensure justice and closure for those involved. During this time, we appreciate privacy and respect for our residents and community.”

Camargo’s criminal record dates back to 1972 and includes charges of arson and burglary.

Earlier this year, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor sex offense involving a child for a 2017 incident in Oceana County.

Authorities are looking for any children who had direct contact with Camargo at the playground, apartment complex, or elsewhere. The parents of potential victims are encouraged to contact Detective Matt Hooker at 616.970.2263.

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