Child rape suspect appears in court

He allegedly lured girl, 15, by posing as woman online

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

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A Vancouver man appeared Tuesday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of raping a 15-year-old girl last year after luring her by masquerading as a woman on Facebook.

Juan Ramon Diaz-Velazquez, 34, faces charges at his Friday arraignment of third-degree rape of a child and commercial sex abuse of a minor.

Judge John Nichols held Diaz-Velazquez on $75,000 bail and appointed Vancouver attorney Jeff Sowder to defend him.

Diaz-Velazquez told Vancouver police that he created a fake Facebook account in order to spy on his girlfriend but then began using it to communicate with the victim, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in court.

In the fake account, he allegedly posed as a woman named Kenzie Dasilva. The victim told police that she befriended "Kenzie" on Facebook. During one of their conversations on the social media site, "Kenzie" asked the victim if she would like to be paid for having sex with men, court records say. After the victim said she was interested, "Kenzie" arranged for her to meet a man for sex on Dec. 9, 2012, at a Shell gas station at 4905 N.E. 94th Ave., court records say.

Driving a blue truck, Diaz-Velazquez allegedly picked her up and drove her to a state liquor store at 13875 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd and bought some alcohol for her. According to court records, he then drove her to his residence in the 200 block of Northeast 148th Avenue where he served her alcohol and had sex with her.

After the encounter, he dropped her off while she was still under the influence of alcohol at the Winco at 11310 N.E. 119th St. Money was never exchanged between the victim and the assailant, court records say.

The victim reported the rape to the Clark County Sheriff's Office, but there

were no major breaks in the case until Vancouver police began investigating another rape of a minor in September, police said.

The victim in the September rape had an experience and gave a description that was similar to that of the previous victim. Diaz-Velazquez has not been charged with the second rape.

Vancouver police served a search warrant early Monday on Diaz-Velazquez' home in the city's Hearthwood neighborhood. He was then arrested and booked into the Clark County Jail.

"The danger of social media is you don't really know who you are connecting with," said Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp said. "Some people are not as they appear."

She said the police department offers guidelines for safeguarding against such abuse on the Internet. It's available online at www.cityofvancouver.us/police/page/internet-safety.