SoCal Tattoo Artist Drugged, Raped Teen Customer, Cops Say
A Southern California tattoo artist was behind bars this week after cops accused him of drugging and raping a 19-year-woman who came to his shop as a client.
San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department officials are circulating a photo (below) of suspect Richard Henry Camarena, 43, with the fear that he might have carried out assaults similar to the one alleged by the teen. Camarena was arrested Friday at a house in Los Angeles County, according to inmate records.
"We believe there's possibly other victims," says San Bernardino sheriff's spokeswoman Jackie Chambers. "This is still under investigation."
The case started on the morning of June 1 when the 19-year-old woman reported "she was sexually assaulted while receiving a tattoo from the suspect, Henry Camarena, owner of Team Art Collective Tattoo in Hesperia," according to the sheriff's department. The business is at 14757 Bear Valley Road.
The woman said she had gone to the shop the night before and was possibly drugged, Chambers says. Inmate records state that Camarena was booked for alleged "rape of drug victim." "A search warrant was served at the suspect's tattoo business ... where evidence was recovered corroborating the victim’s statements," according to the department.
It's not clear what kind of drug might have been used, the spokeswoman says. "We haven't determined what it might be yet because we're still doing testing," she says.
Gang detectives arrested Camarena at a residence in the 15200 block of Ramona Boulevard in Baldwin Park at 1:15 p.m. Friday. He was being held this week at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, according to inmate records. Bail was initially set at a half-million dollars.
Anyone with information on the case was asked to call investigators at 760-947-1500.
San Bernardino County Sheriff
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Los Angeles, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.