SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office was forced to hand over the prosecution of a case of alleged sexual assault to the California Attorney General after one of its prosecutors used the victim, his daughter, as bait to gather more evidence against the suspect.
“The prosecutor, in my opinion, crossed the line and took over the role of a law enforcement person–a police officer. That was poor judgment and never should have happened,” said retired Judge LaDoris Cordell.
According to the police report, the victim’s father had her walk along the Alamitos Creek Trail in South San Jose until she made contact with the suspect, 76-year-old Ali Mohammad Lajmiri. The victim’s father waited nearby so he could record the suspect’s interactions with his daughter on his phone.
Investigators say the victim’s father recorded the suspect putting his arm around the 13-year-old’s waist, trying to kiss her before grabbing and pulling her back onto a park bench when she tried to leave.
“Who does this? Who takes their own child, who he knows has been the victim of a molestation, and then puts her back out there so she can be victimized again and he can do his job and catch the perpetrator?” Cordell said.
Police eventually arrested Lajmiri, charging him with three counts of lewd or lascivious acts on a child under the age of 14 as well as false imprisonment. He remains in the Santa County Jail on $3-million bond.
District Attorney Jeff Rosen released a memo to his staff and the media: “As prosecutors, we must never forget that our own behavior–inside and outside the courtroom–matters.”
“The choices we make in our professional and personal lives need to be in harmony with the protocols, laws and ethics of our criminal justice system.”
The CEO of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the YWCA said she could not discuss specifics of the case but had a general message to victims of sexual assault.
“Whatever your needs are moving through complex trauma or healing from dehumanizing experiences, we are here for you,” said Tanis Crosby, YWCA Silicon Valley CEO.
The YWCA says you can reach its support line 1-800-572-2782.