Clackamas County deputy sentenced for sexually abusing 2 children in Salem

A former Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office deputy has been sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison for molesting two children in Salem.

Cenobio Jauregui, 38, of Salem, pleaded guilty on May 1 to six counts of first-degree sexual abuse and first-degree criminal mistreatment.

Jauregui sexually abused two children under 14 years old, according to his plea petition.

The victims were children who he knew outside his work as a deputy. The abuse occurred on several occasions between 2019 and 2023.

Marion County Circuit Court Judge Channing Bennett also sentenced him to 45 months of post-prison supervision.

Jauregui still has a pending criminal case for a misdemeanor charge related to his conduct while working as a probationary deputy in the Clackamas County Jail.

He was put on unpaid administrative leave from that 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.

After the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office conducted an independent criminal investigation, Clackamas County prosecutors charged Jauregui with first-degree official misconduct.

Jauregui is accused of asking a woman incarcerated in the jail to touch herself sexually. A prosecutor’s affidavit said that while Jauregui was working as a deputy in the jail, he conducted “extra checks” of the woman’s cell, knocked on her window several times in one night and watched her. More court proceedings in that case are scheduled for July 2.

The sheriff’s office subsequently fired Jauregui in May 2023, 10 days after the misconduct charge was filed.

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.

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 a year later, nearly two months before Salem police arrested him for the sexual abuse charges.

DPSST records show the state’s police licensing agency opened its own investigation based on Jauregui’s conduct in May 2023.

That case was still pending, and his law enforcement certification was inactive as of Wednesday, the agency’s records show.

DPSST previously 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.

At his sentencing on May 1 in the sexual abuse case, Jauregui said that he has “struggled with addiction and a lot of things” throughout his life.

“I’ve made some bad decisions, but I just want it to be known that that’s not the man that I am,” he said, his voice trembling. 

Jauregui said that he enrolled in sex offender treatment and completed an addiction counseling program. He said he also worked during the entire 11 months that he was out on bail to provide for his family.

“I tried my very best to do as much as I could with the time that was given to me outside of jail,” he said. “Now that I’m here, I’m here to do what I have to do as a man. But I just want the court to know that I’m truly remorseful and I’m sorry that I put everyone through this.”

The judge told Jauregui that his sentence was a “tough” one, but could be a lot worse. Bennett shared words of encouragement for Jauregui before sentencing him to prison.

“You can make bad, even appalling decisions. What you do after that, taking accountability, making changes is the true mark of a person and what they will be,” he said.


Clackamas County deputy charged with sexually abusing child in Salem

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

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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.