A Chesterfield, Missouri police officer was fired, then charged last week on criminal counts related to secretly recording men in intimate situations and posting videos of the encounters on the Internet.
Former Chesterfield Police Officer David Cerna has been charged with felony invasion of privacy after a camera he set up in a men’s bathroom stall in a Mobile on the Run near the police station was discovered. St. Charles County Cyber Crime Unit traced the IP address of the videos posted online to Cerna’s computer.
Police in Cerna’s hometown of Wenzville then alerted the Chesterfield Police to the existence of what appeared to be secretly recorded videos of men receiving what they described as “unusual oral sex acts.” The videos were linked to a Craigslist advertisement placed by Cerna, in which he invited straight men to his home to have sex through a barrier.
The two victims cooperating with investigators said they did not know that it was a man on the other side of that barrier.
Cerna admitted to having placed the advertisement, and told police that over 60 men had responded to it — and that he had recorded the encounters, and placed many of these videos on the Internet.
Chesterfield Police Chief Ray Johnson said that Cerna, a six-year veteran of the force, was immediately dismissed, and that his officers were not treating him any differently than they would any other suspect.
The Mobile on the Run in which Cerna had planted the camera was close to the Chesterfield Police Station. One regular customer who spoke to KSDK said that he remembered seeing then-Officer Cerna at the location frequently.
“One night I came in here I went in the restroom after him. He took a nice amount of time. He was probably changing the damn tape. Now they’ve got my name and number and I’m waiting to find out if I’m somebody on one of his tapes and possibly on one of his websites,” he said.
Cerna is currently being held on $25,000 bond.
Watch a report on Cerna from KSDK 5 below.
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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