Hidden camera cop goes to jail and must register as sex offender for life

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - The former Chesterfield cop who secretly took video inside a public restroom was cuffed and sent to jail today. A St. Louis County Judge found former officer David Cerna guilty of a charge he fought until the end.

It`s a case so bizarre, no one could`ve predicted the twists that brought us here. A 2014 Fox Files investigation led to evidence of a hidden camera inside a men`s restroom. David Cerna admitted it, but for months he`s fought one specific charge to avoid becoming a sex offender.

Today, a Judge found him guilty of that charge `Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.` Then the Judge told the bailiff 'take him into custody.'

Fox 2`s reporting on Cerna began in 2014, when a man on the East Coast said he found a disturbing web site, filled with images of men using a public restroom. Our investigation revealed an unexpected location -- a bathroom in the Mobile on the Run near Chesterfield Mall. When we took our findings to Chesterfield Police, we never imagined they would arrest one of their own officers.

Cerna pleaded guilty in February to operating the camera and posting pictures to his personal porn site, but he fought another charge involving his secret video recording of a teenager`s genitals during a pat down search. That charge was the only one in which a conviction would lead him to be a `registered sex offender.`

Today the Judge found him guilty and had him cuffed immediately. Cerna appeared to be near tears. The mother of one of the victims also cried as she said, 'I waited a long time to see those handcuffs.'

Prosecutors wanted him to serve seven years in prison. The Judge sentenced him to one year in the County jail, but said he could go to prison for ten years if he violates probation. Cerna faces another sentencing Monday in St. Charles County for charges surrounding Cerna`s operation of a glory hole in which he posted videos online.

Follow Fox 2`s Chris Hayes on Twitter @ChrisHayesTV

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