Updated August 4, 2022 - 3:51 pm
A man with prior ties to the Clark County foster care system has been charged with sexually abusing a child and hiding a camera in a bedroom where the youth lived, according to police and court records.
A criminal complaint filed Wednesday in Las Vegas Justice Court charges John Patrick Lafon, 65, with use of a minor under age of 14 to produce pornography, sexual assault against a child and indecent or obscene exposure.
In a heavily-redacted arrest report for Lafon, Las Vegas police said Saturday that officers were called to a report of children running away from a home in the Las Vegas Valley.
After the children were located by police, one told a detective about having been sexually assaulted by Lafon years earlier. The child also voiced to police concerns about “several hidden cameras” in the house, according to the arrest report.
Police then interviewed another child who told detectives of finding nude photos of the child on Lafon’s cell phone.
“The images appeared to be taken from a covert camera, in the ceiling, of the bathroom,” the child told police.
The same child told police that Lafon exposed himself in 2021, according to the police report.
Police said they interviewed Lafon and he denied any wrongdoing. He told police he was familiar with how they investigated such cases because “he himself had taken foster children to the SNCAC (Southern Nevada Children’s Advocacy Center) for forensic interviews regarding sexual abuse cases,” police said in the arrest report.
Police also said Lafon acknowledged having a covert camera installed in the home where the children lived weeks earlier.
“It was described as looking like a wall plug,” police said. “John stated it had a motion detector and he had it there for (a child’s) safety.”
Lafon said the secret camera never worked, however. It was supposed to only provide live feeds and did not save any recordings, police said Lafon told them.
A request for comment from Clark County Family Services was still pending Thursday afternoon. An attorney with the Clark County public defender’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.