A Middle Tennessee man could spend the rest of his life in prison after his second conviction for child rape in two years.

The Maury County District Attorney's office said Juan Abrego-Chavez is an illegal alien. Before these convictions, he had no record.

Abrego-Chavez has been in the U.S. since 2002. According to documents obtained by News4, he was indicted in both cases. Up until 2016, no trouble with the law.

The DA believes he's been flying under the radar for more than a decade.

Luckily, a brave six-year-old came forward to her mom and she probably save a lot of other kids.

It started in 2016, after the child exposed Abrego-Chavez to her parents. It wasn't long before the Maury County DA's office discovered she was just one of several victims.

"I would almost bet my paycheck there were other victims out there," said District Attorney General Brent Cooper.

Abrego-Chavez lived in Texas, Florida, and New York before Tennessee.

"Whether he was here or in Guatemala, there would have been children. I believe he would have been sexually molesting or raping children wherever he was," said Cooper.

His first conviction was in 2018 for the rape of a six-year-old. During the prosecution, more victims came forward.

Wednesday, he was convicted for the sexual molestation and rape of a six-year-old and a ten-year-old.

The DA said Abrego-Chavez used a child living with him to attract others.

"When that child makes friends, the friends get invited over for sleepovers or for other reasons. Then that's when he preys on them," said Cooper.

Abrego-Chavez is currently serving 30 years in prison. He faces up to 64 years on his most recent conviction.

"If we had our preferences, I wish he'd never come to our country and never hurt these children but he did. I'm glad that we're holding him accountable and it's intention that he never draws any other breath as a free man where he can have access to children," Cooper said.

Abrego-Chavez has been indicted in a third child sexual assault case. The DA said they will wait on the sentencing for the second conviction before deciding to move forward.

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Rebecca Cardenas is a Murrow-award winning journalist who joined News4 as a reporter in September 2017.

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