Convicted child rapist arrested after watching children at park


A mother thought a man watching kids at tennis practice looked suspicious, and she was right. He wasn’t supposed to be there because he’s a convicted child rapist.

Cahoon Park in Roswell is well-known in the community. Many parents bring their kids to the park for tennis practice.

โ€œIt’s being developed for kids specifically. I mean there’s kids around this neighborhood all the time,โ€ said Juan Lucero of Roswell. 

It was just over a month ago that one mom noticed something strange about a man sitting on a bench, watching the kids, taking pictures of the boys with his cell phone.

โ€œShe wasn’t sure if he was taking pictures with it or just hanging out there, at the tennis courts while there were kids practicing tennis,โ€ said Roswell Police Department spokesperson Todd Wildermuth. โ€œShe just thought it was a little suspicious.โ€

When police arrived, they found 40-year-old John Heide. According to the criminal complaint, Heide claimed he was resisting urges to talk with the boys at the park, and that he knows he’s not supposed to be around kids.

Heide has served time in prison for raping a 12-year-old boy in Roswell. He’s a registered sex offender for life, but little did these community members know, he was living on the corner of Eighth Street right next to Cahoon Park and Cielo Grande Park.

“Itโ€™s pretty scary to not even know that somebody after kids lives right across the street and right here at the park,โ€ Lucero said. โ€œYou know, I have my nieces and nephews here all the time and to not know that is disturbing.โ€

When police searched his phone and computer at home, they found child porn. Heide’s charged with sexual exploitation of a child for the child porn. He isn’t facing any charges for being at the park.

Police did not find any images of the boys playing tennis on his phone. Police say he claimed he had erased them.

Heide remains behind bars.

Heide spent 14 years in prison for that child rape. He was just released in 2016.

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