SUTHERLIN MAN WAS ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF SEX CRIMES INVOLVING A MINOR
July 11, 2020
A Sutherlin man was arrested Thursday and accused of sexually abusing a young girl for multiple years, according to the Sutherlin Police Department.
In February, police received a report that Cory Lee Bernhardt, 35, had been repeatedly abusing a young girl who he knew personally. During the ensuing investigation, detectives determined that Bernhardt could have started sexually abusing the young girl between 2015 and 2018, when the victim was between the ages of 4 and 7, according to court documents.
The victim told police Bernhardt would sometimes abuse her at night, or in his truck while taking her on trips to the park, the store, or the safari.
Sutherlin police, in conjunction with the Southern Oregon High-Tech Crimes Task Force, seized hard drives, phones and computers that Bernhardt owned and found a folder than held pornographic photos of the young victim, according to police.
On Thursday, just after 10 a.m., officers met up with Bernhardt at his business in Sutherlin, Pirate Glass Smoke Shop, and arrested him on suspicion of three counts of first-degree sodomy, three counts of first-degree sexual abuse, and three counts of encouraging child sexual abuse.
Two of those charges are Measure 11 crimes that hold mandatory minimum prison sentences. First-degree sodomy carries a minimum prison sentence of 100 months, and first-degree sexual abuse carries a minimum prison sentence of 75 months upon conviction.
Message from Executive Director Laura A. Ahearn: Please visit our website at www.crimevictimscenter.org for news, information and resources in your community.
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