SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTLA) -- A Northern California prosecutor used his 13-year-old daughter to lure a man back to the spot where she said he had molested her, so the man's incriminating actions could be recorded on video, according to a newspaper report Sunday.
The suspect has been arrested but the Santa Clara County prosecutor is under scrutiny for possibly endangering his child, the Mercury News reported, citing police reports and sources familiar with the case.
Ali Mohammad Lajmiri, 76, of San Jose is charged with lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 and false imprisonment.
The molestation was the subject of an active police investigation at the time that the prosecutor brought his daughter back to the scene, the Los Alamitos Trail in Almaden Valley. After recording video of the man interacting with his daughter, the prosecutor gave the recording to the police. Lajmiri was arrested the next day.
The prosecutor told police that he and the girl had arranged for her to walk back and forth on the trail, while the two of them stayed in touch with cellphones and earbuds.
“He stated that they had already done this several times,” San Jose Detective Sgt. Sean Pierce wrote in the police report on the case. “He directed (the victim) to let (the suspect) touch her if she encountered him, but if it was the breast or between the legs to move away. He instructed (the victim) to let (the suspect) identify and make the contact and if she cannot handle things she should move away. He instructed (the victim) to walk back and forth on the designated route and don't interact with anyone for very long.”
The idea that a prosecutor would interfere in an active police investigation and have his daughter essentially serve as bait for a suspected predator was met with dismay by members of the local law enforcement community, including some of the prosecutor's colleagues and police officers who have worked with him.
Sources also told the newspaper that state prosecutors are exploring potential child endangerment charges against the prosecutor.