A Chesterfield, Missouri police officer secretly videotaped men in a gas station restroom stall, lured anonymous sex partners to his home through Craigslist ads and posted dozens of voyeuristic and pornographic videos to his own website, authorities say.
David Cerna, 33, of the 4000 block of Jessica Drive in Wentzville, who had served the Chesterfield Police Department for six years without raising suspicions of superiors, was charged Friday with invasion of privacy in St. Louis and St. Charles counties.
Chesterfield police say that over several months, Cerna collected videos from a spy camera he installed in a men’s restroom at the Mobil On The Run gas station on Clarkson Road south of Chesterfield Mall. Some of those videos and dozens more taped with sex partners at his home in Wentzville were hosted on his porn website.
Investigators say they have identified some victims and are looking for more.
The investigation stemmed from reporting by Post-Dispatch partner Fox 2 News, whose reporter, Chris Hayes, made police aware of the video camera on May 30.
Using Hayes’ information, online comments from one of the alleged victims and the help of the St. Charles County cybercrimes task force, police traced the address of the computer server hosting the website that aired the videos to Cerna’s home. Cerna was arrested Thursday night at his home by his fellow officers.
“We of course are deeply saddened and disturbed that one of our officers acted in such a reprehensible manner,” Chesterfield Police Chief Ray Johnson said in a statement. “However, once we learned of his involvement, we acted swiftly to minimize the possibility of any additional victims; and to hold Officer Cerna accountable for his actions.”
The video camera at the Mobil and Cerna’s website were removed during the department’s week-long investigation, police said. His record had been clear of any previous violations that would have raised suspicions.