Community members react to Christopher Vargas’ sex sting charges

NEW JERSEY — The recent Department of Justice report that one of Toms River’s very own community members, Fil-Am Christopher Vargas, is among the 24 arrested in a child predator operation — shocked the residents of the quiet New Jersey town.

The 29-year-old nurse was arrested and charged with second-degree attempted luring or enticing a child, with a purpose to commit a criminal offense against the child.

According to authorities, Vargas thought he was chatting with a 15-year-old boy home alone. But the boy turned out to be an undercover officer.

“It’s a very sensitive thing, and very close to the heart of the community,” said Dr. Jose Ramon Suatengco. “Because we all know each other, we are close; for one, Chris is a patient of mine, I know the parents very closely, so right now, we just want due process.”

Vargas has been released from detention pending trial according to the attorney general’s office in New Jersey.

Suatengco says there were no signs or red flags screaming Vargas is a child sex predator.

If found guilty, Vargas could face a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000.

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