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Prosecutor Used Daughter as Bait to Catch Suspect

He took 13-year-old to trail where she said man had touched her
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2019 4:56 AM CST
Updated Nov 19, 2019 6:42 AM CST
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This Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019 photo released by San Jose Police Department shows suspect Ali Mohammad Lajmiri, 76, of San Jose,   (San Jose Police Department via AP)

(Newser) – A California man is accused of interfering with a police investigation and possibly endangering his daughter by using her as bait to catch a man who allegedly molested her—and authorities say that as a prosecutor, he should have known better. According to a police report seen by the San Jose Mercury News, the Santa Clara County prosecutor had his 13-year-old daughter walk up and down the trail where the man had allegedly touched her inappropriately, and told her to allow him to "touch her if she encountered him, but if it was the breast or between the legs to move away." Police say the prosecutor stayed in touch with his daughter with cellphones and earbuds, but he lost sight of her at least twice while she was with the suspect. Sources say the prosecutor may now face child endangerment charges.

Police began investigating the case in early October after the girl told a doctor the man had touched her sexually on three occasions, the AP reports. The father brought his daughter to the scene in early November. After he gave police video of 76-year-old Ali Mohammad Lajmiri interacting with his daughter, the suspect was charged with lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 and false imprisonment. Experts say video the father took of the suspect trying to kiss the girl and grabbing her to stop her leaving is unlikely to be allowed as evidence. "As a father, I understand how emotional it can be when your child is the victim of a crime," said San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia. "But we have to remember that the safety of the child comes first, and channel that frustration in a positive way to assist the investigation and not hinder it." (Read more San Jose stories.)

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