Clackamas County deputy charged with sexually abusing child in Salem

A Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office deputy has been charged in Marion County with repeatedly molesting a child in Salem over a four-month period.

Prosecutors charged Cenobio Jauregui, 37 of Salem, on Thursday, April 27, in Marion County Circuit Court with five counts of first-degree sexual abuse, according to court documents.

The charges allege that Jauregui sexually abused a child under 14 years old, according to the charging document filed by Marion County prosecutors. 

Jauregui is on unpaid administrative leave from his Clackamas County job for multiple on-duty policy violations and potential criminal conduct unrelated to the Salem incidents, according to John Wildhaber, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office conducted an independent criminal investigation into that conduct and submitted their case to the Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office.

Earlier this week, the Salem Police Department notified the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office that it was conducting “an unrelated criminal investigation into his off-duty conduct involving a family member,” according to Wildhaber. 

He said Jauregui will remain on unpaid administrative leave pending the outcome of a professional standards investigation.

The state Department of Corrections hired Jauregui in January 2020 as a corrections officer at the Oregon State Penitentiary, the only maximum-security prison in Oregon. 

There, he was promoted to correctional corporal in July 2021. He resigned in March 2022, according to corrections department spokeswoman Jennifer Black.

Jauregui was hired two weeks later by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office as a probationary jail deputy in March 2022, according to records of the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training, the state agency tasked with licensing officers and investigating complaints of misconduct.

The records show he took a leave of absence on March 4, nearly two months before Salem police arrested him on Wednesday, April 26. 

Jauregui was being held as of Friday at the Marion County Jail on $250,000 bail, the jail’s roster showed.

He is accused of sexually abusing the child five times between December 2022 and April.

First-degree sexual abuse is a Class B felony which carries a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Marion County Circuit Judge Pro Tem Matthew Tracey on Thursday ordered Jauregui to have no contact with minors or gather anywhere minors congregate if he is released on bail.

He is scheduled to enter a plea at a May 5 hearing, court records showed.

Records of DPSST show no pending investigation by the state’s police licensing agency related to Jauregui’s charges in Marion County. His law enforcement certification was active as of Friday, the agency’s records show.

The agency opened  an investigation into Jauregui in January 2020, two days before he was hired at the state penitentiary, related to previous criminal convictions in California.

Jauregui was convicted of misdemeanor hit-and-run and driving on a suspended license in March 2008, according to an October 2020 report by DPSST.

The agency couldn’t locate a police report, according to the DPSST memo. Jauregui told investigators he had left a note on the car he had struck and was later cited by police. 

He also received deferred judgment related to a 2008 incident for failure to appear in court on a traffic citation and possession of marijuana, both misdemeanors, as well as failure to signal. He completed a diversion program and the charges were dismissed, according to the report.

The Board on Public Safety Standards and Training decided in October 2020 to take no action against Jauregui’s certification.

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

SUBSCRIBE TO GET SALEM NEWS  We report on your community with care and depth, fairness and accuracy. Get local news that matters to you. Subscribe today to get our daily newsletters and more. Click I want to subscribe!

Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.