‘Crossed the line’: Santa Clara prosecutor used daughter as bait to catch alleged molester

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SAN JOSE (KRON) — By using his 13-year-old daughter as bait to gather incriminating evidence against a man who allegedly molested her on the Los Alamitos Creek Trail, a Santa Clara County prosecutor crossed a line, according to a retired superior court judge LaDoris Cordell.

“The prosecutor crossed the line,” she said. “The prosecutor became the law enforcement person by taking into his own hands the investigation into the alleged molestation of his 13-year-old daughter.”

Seventy-six-year-old Ali Mohammed Lajmiri was arrested by San Jose Police last week and is facing charges of lewd and lascivious conduct.  

Evidence in the case includes a video clandestinely shot by the prosecutor after using his daughter as bait to get the suspect to inappropriately touch her as he is alleged to have done three times before.

It was a risky ploy according to Santa Clara University Psychology Professor Dr. Thomas Plant.

“The issue we should be very concerned about is retraumatizing a girl who’s probably already been traumatized given that she was apparently approached earlier by the same fellow, and secondly, why he didn’t go to law enforcement or others to figure ‘how can we best handle this?’” Plant said. 

In a statement, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said, “As

prosecutors, we must never forget that our own behavior, inside and outside of 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 prosecutor’s actions might also have jeopardized the case against the suspect says Judge Cordell, who is also a former independent San Jose Police Auditor.

“Will this video be admissible in court,” she asked. “He’s the one that took the video. He did it — he’s the percipient witness in a way, but how willing is the prosecution going to be to allow this video to be utilized.”

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