Girlfriend defends Camarena against sex assault, trafficking charges
The man who’s a person of interest in a triple homicide off Knik Goose Bay Road was arraigned on state charges of sexual assault and sex trafficking in Palmer on Tuesday.
The state indicted Juan Camarena, 51, on five felony charges including two counts of first-degree sexual assault, penetration without consent, one count of sex trafficking by use of force and two counts of assault.
“I’d like to enter a plea of not guilty,” Camarena told the judge. He said it was his first time reading about the charges against him. “I know nothing about these charges though.”
Investigators said Camarena sexually assaulted a woman and they found video evidence of the crime.
A woman who identified herself as Camarena’s girlfriend showed up at his arraignment. Camarena smiled when he saw Kim Kidrick in the courtroom.
Kidrick defended Camarena against all of his charges.
“Because I felt it was unfair that they were trying to charge him with all of this stuff that he didn’t do. I just wanted to be able to tell them because I’m not allowed to talk to him. He can’t call me, I can’t write him, I can’t put money on his books. I can’t do anything. He has nobody else up here,” Kidrick said.
Assistant District Attorney Krista Anderson asked the judge to set bail at $500,000.
“The defendant is newly to Alaska from California, he has no ties to the community, he’s a risk to the victim and the public. He was recently released from prison. He has 12 prior felonies out of California and he perpetuated extreme violence on the victim,” Anderson said as Kidrick shook her head in disagreement.
Judge William Estelle set Camarena’s bail at $500,000 plus a court-approved third party custodian and electronic monitoring.
Kidrick said Camarena has been in Alaska for several years. Troopers identified him as a person of interest in a triple homicide investigation into the shooting deaths of Mikey Attwood, Donna Marie Campos and Alyssa Jimenez.
“He hasn’t done anything wrong, he hasn’t been getting in trouble. He’s been trying to stay out of the way,” Kidrick said. “He was trying to start a different life with new people and see how well that worked out.”
Camarena was taken into federal custody on a charge of being a felon in possession of ammunition after investigators found ammunition in the trailer where he was staying. Kidrick claims people were always coming and going from the RV and may have left ammunition there.
Kidrick said Camarena was in Big Lake the weekend the three people were killed. She said she was once engaged to one of the victims, Mikey Attwood, and said that’s why troopers have narrowed in on Camarena.
She called all of the charges “bull----.”
“Because of his past history, I think that’s it,” Kidrick said.
Camarena is scheduled to be back in Palmer for a hearing on Dec. 27.
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