NEWPORT — A man accused of multiple counts of child sexual abuse is being held in the Lincoln County Jail on $550,000 bail pending a trial that could see him put away for life.
David Lee Cannon, 29, a homeless man from Waldport, was arrested and booked in the Lincoln County Jail last February after it was discovered he had sexually explicit material on a laptop he bought from the Newport Pawn Shop before selling it back to the employees at the shop in July 2017. He pled not guilty to all eight counts of encouraging child sexual abuse in the first degree and eight counts of encouraging child sexual abuse in the second degree, as well as one count of bribe giving.
According to a search warrant affidavit written by Detective Lance Cummings of the Newport Police Department, the computer was wiped clean when Cannon bought the laptop, and when he sold it back, multiple sexual images of young girls and naked photos of Cannon were on the laptop. A Samsung flip phone was also found to contain unlawful images.
The two employees at the Newport Pawn Shop originally sold Cannon the blue Hewlett Packard laptop earlier that month before he came back on July 27 to sell the laptop back. Upon discovery of the lewd content involving children, they called the police.
Cannon has a criminal history involving sexual offenses. He was registered as a sex offender in 2009 following a felony conviction for sex abuse here in Lincoln County. He was also convicted of encouraging child sex abuse in 2009, and has a history of kidnapping, menacing, criminal trespass, theft, contempt of court and probation violations.
The previous child sex abuse conviction resulted in his imprisonment for 90 months, although that wasn’t the first time he’d tried to sexually abuse a child. Cannon actually has two felony sex crimes on his record, and at age 18 he was removed from his parents’ home after two years of trying to engage in sexual acts with his sister, who was 16 at the time.
While in jail, Cannon wrote letters and made phone calls to various officials and family members that betrayed his lack of remorse for his actions and his failure to grasp the harm he’s done to many women and girls. A motion to deny release filed by the state said he wrote a letter to Cummings, in which he allegedly said he was angry about going to prison because he didn’t touch or hurt anyone.
There were also apparently other letters to the Oregon State Police, the governor, the district attorney and board of commissioners. In these letters, the motion to deny release said, he claimed to be connected to child porn rings and claimed he knew of children and animals currently being abused, among other claims, and he would turn over all this information upon release or dismissal of charges.
Cannon’s been labeled a flight risk, since his potential incarceration for life is a “strong motivation” to run away if he’s released from jail. He also talked about leaving the country to pursue an unnamed female he met online before his latest arrest.
Court documents also state he’s written one of his jurors a letter offering her money, gifts and services to persuade other jurors to vote not guilty. Cannon apparently knows where the juror lives and the juror in question is afraid of him, voicing her wish to take out a no-contact order if he is released.
The case summary gives three dates Cannon’s trial was supposed to start--May 30, 2018, June 6, 2018 and July 10, 2018. The trial was postponed because, according to an order denying the state’s motion to release Cannon from jail, the state needed to determine the status of whether or not certain pieces of evidence brought against Cannon would be used in court.
Cannon’s is next scheduled to appear Jan. 25 in the Lincoln County Circuit Court.