Woodburn police officer arrested on sex abuse charges
UPDATED August 2, 2017
A Woodburn police officer was arrested by Tigard police on Thursday, July 27, on charges of sexual abuse, sodomy and online corruption of a child.
Daniel Alvin Kerbs, 29, faces six charges of third-degree sodomy, six charges of second-degree sexual abuse and one count of first-degree online sexual corruption of a child.
He was booked to the Washington County Jail on July 27 with his bail set at $140,000. He posted the necessary $14,000 for his release in the early morning hours of July 28, according to court records.
According to a secret indictment dated July 27, the alleged crimes were committed between September 2013 and November 2014. The indictment states the victim was under the age of 16 at the time of the alleged crimes.
According to a statement posted to Facebook by the Tigard Police Department, Kerbs was arrested following a three-week-long sex abuse investigation. Kerbs was acquainted with the victim's family, according to the statement.
The investigation began after the victim contacted the department, according to Jim Wolf, the public information officer of the Tigard Police Department. Wolf said the department is unaware of any other victims.
Kerbs was hired as a Woodburn police officer in January 2015, according to Jason Horton, the city of Woodburn's communications coordinator.
Horton said Kerbs was placed on paid administrative leave on July 26. His employment status changed to unpaid administrative leave on Aug. 2, according to Police Chief Jim Ferraris.
"Our policy states that when an employee is under grand jury indictment or felony charge that the department director has the discretion to place the employee on unpaid administrative leave," Ferraris said.
Kerbs was the recipient of the 2016 Oregon Peace Officers Association's Life Saving Award, which is given to law enforcement officials who perform a lifesaving procedure beyond their normal job duties.
The award honored an incident in 2015 in which Kerbs performed CPR on an unresponsive infant, ultimately saving the baby's life.
"For many officers, this is just part of our job. But to this infant's parents, Officer Kerbs was more than just an officer; he was their hero," said OPOA President Rick Puente, also of the Woodburn Police Department at the time, when presenting the award.
Kerbs, who lives in Salem, will be arraigned on the charges in the Washington County Circuit Court on Aug. 8.
Kerbs' arrest came two days after former Woodburn police officer Timothy Cobos pleaded guilty to charges of official misconduct. An investigation had revealed that Cobos had on multiple occasions had sex while on duty, including inside his police vehicle.
Following Kerbs' arrest, Ferraris said the department will reflect on its processes as a result of the two cases.
"It's healthy for any organization to undergo continuous process improvement and ask questions: What happened, why did it happen, what can we do to prevent it from happening again," Ferraris said. "That's a process I like to undertake for any significant event."