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Elijah Baker

Elijah Baker

A Lebanon man was arrested on suspicion of several sex crimes and a child pornography charge on Tuesday afternoon.

Elijah Nathaniel Baker, 18, was charged in Linn County Circuit Court on Wednesday afternoon with three counts of first-degree sex abuse, first-degree sodomy and first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse.

Judge Rachel Kittson-MaQatish set Baker’s bail at $75,000, as requested by the prosecution.

Prosecutor Richard Wijers said the sodomy charge was a Jessica’s Law crime, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison.

Defense attorney Heidi Sternhagen, who handled Wednesday’s session of in-custody teleconference arraignments from the Linn County Jail, asked for $50,000 bail for Baker, the statutory minimum for such serious crimes. She noted that Baker had no prior criminal history.

The charging document accuses Baker of creating a visual recording of sexually explicit conduct involving a child, and that he knew that creating that recording involved child abuse.

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The next hearing in the case was scheduled for Nov. 4.

Baker’s arrest is the result of an investigation regarding a report that he had inappropriate contact with a girl via electronic communications, according to a Lebanon Police Department news release.

The accuser in the case is under the age of 12 and is known to Baker. The alleged crimes occurred over the last several months at Baker’s residence, according to the news release.

The Lebanon Police Department has no prior contact with Baker, the news release states. Detectives are investigating to determine whether there are additional victims.

Those with information about the case should contact Detective Sgt. Taylor Jackson at 541-258-4357. 

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Kyle Odegard can be contacted at 541-812-6077 or kyle.odegard@lee.net.

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