The actions of a Santa Clara County prosecutor have come under scrutiny after, authorities say, he used his teenage daughter as bait to catch a man accused of molesting her.
The father, who works for the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office and has not been identified, videotaped an encounter earlier this month between his 13-year-old daughter and Ali Mohammad Lajmiri, 76, authorities said.
The girl had been approached by Lajmiri five times while she was walking her dog on the Los Alamitos Creek Trail between August and September, San Jose police said. Lajmiri touched the girl inappropriately during the last three meetings, according to a news release from police.
On Nov. 11, authorities said, the child’s father sent the girl to meet Lajmiri. The two kept in contact through cellphone and earbuds, and the man told his daughter to allow Lajmiri to touch her but not on the breasts or between the legs, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
The man videotaped the interaction from afar, in which Lajmiri is seen walking with his hand around the girl’s waist and kissing her on the forehead, the newspaper reported.
San Jose police arrested Lajmiri the following day. He has been charged with lewd and lascivious acts on a minor under the age of 14 and false imprisonment, the San Jose Police Department said.
The district attorney’s office has launched an internal review of the prosecutor’s actions and referred the case to the state attorney general’s office. In an internal memo to his staff that was shared with the Los Angeles Times, Dist. Atty. Jeff Rosen said releasing more information could damage the integrity of both the local and state reviews of the prosecutor.
“As prosecutors, we must never forget that our own behavior — inside and outside of the courtroom — matters,” Rosen said. “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 San Jose Police Department declined to share additional details, as the case is still active.