David Cernazanu

David Cernazanu

A Baker City man has been charged with 48 crimes involving child pornography.

Oregon State Police officers arrested David Leon Cernazanu, 48, of 3435 Eighth Drive, at 1:45 p.m. Friday at his home and lodged him at the Baker County Jail.

Cernazanu is charged with 11 counts of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct, a Class A felony, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 70 months in prison upon conviction.

Other charges against Cernazanu include 15 counts of first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse, a Class B felony; 11 counts of second-degree encouraging child sexual abuse, a Class C felony; and 11 counts of first-degree invasion of personal privacy, a Class C felony.

District Attorney Greg Baxter said Cernazanu, who was arraigned on the charges Monday in Baker County Circuit Court, was ordered held on $1.8 million bail by Judge Matt Shirtcliff.

Cernazanu is represented by Bob Moon, a Baker City attorney.

Sgt. Sean Belding of the OSP Major Crimes Criminal Division, said the state Department of Justice sought local assistance in the investigation from OSP on Feb. 11 regarding accusations against Cernazanu of internet crimes involving a child.

Google initially reported sexually explicit photos of the young person to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the allegations were investigated by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Belding said.

Belding said Cernazanu most recently had been employed as a corrections officer at the Powder River Correctional Facility in Baker City. Baxter said Cernazanu had been on administrative leave from the prison during the investigation and is no longer employed there.

He also had served for a short time as a reserve officer for the Baker City Police Department.

Baxter said the crimes took place over about a year and a half. The earliest are alleged to have happened on April 21, 2018, in Baker County and the latest crimes are alleged to have occurred on Aug. 4, 2019, in Baker County. The victim, a female minor, was a person known to Cernazanu, he said.

OSP served search warrants at Cernazanu’s home on Feb. 19 and digital evidence, including computers and phones, was seized and analyzed by the Department of Justice, Belding said.

The case was presented to a Baker County grand jury on Thursday, April 23, and a secret indictment was issued that day. OSP contacted Cernazanu the next day at his home and arrested him, Belding said.

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