A professional modeling photographer working out of Carlsbad was arrested Tuesday for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor client during a photoshoot, police confirmed.
The Carlsbad Police Department said the 16-year-old victim met up with Robert Koester, 52, who was sub-contracted by the modeling agency Frank, on Monday.
The victim said she left after she was allegedly sexually assaulted and told her father. They reported the incident to Carlsbad police the next day.
Investigators responded to the location of the alleged assault, a residence on the 3600 block of Carlsbad Boulevard, and found that it was temporarily rented by Koester.
Koester was arrested at the home where they also found evidence of the crime, police said.
He was booked into the Vista Detention Facility for battery with great bodily injury, sexual battery, possession of child pornography, and providing harmful material to a minor.
He posted bail and was released until his next court date.
Koester is from Carlton, Oregon, according to police.
CPD said investigators have been working closely with Frank to identify other potential victims or witnesses, but CPD Lt. Greg Koran said the potential for more victims stops with Koester’s arrest.
“We really proud of her bravery to come forward at a time like this and let us know so that we can take action,” he said.
According to police, Koester has used the aliases “Rhake Winter” and “Bert Kay” when working with clients. The department is asking anyone with information to call them at (760) 931-3819 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, women in the Carlsbad area with modeling experience said arrangements are often scheduled one-on-one, leaving those hoping for a future in front of the lens in a vulnerable position.
“It is not usually like bringing a parent or a friend. They want you to sign the contract and meet them at a coffee shop or a local beach spot,” surfer Meredith Covington said of her experiences.
“It’s disgusting and I can’t believe that people think they can get away with that,” she said.
Source: NBC San Diego