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FBI Seeks Possible Victims of Accused Sexual Predator in Oregon, California

Photographer Robert Arnold Koester — using a variety of pseudonyms — preyed on young women between 1994 and 2018, according to the FBI.

Posted: Feb 6, 2019 11:22 AM
Updated: Feb 6, 2019 11:43 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. — A man working as a professional photographer who operated under a variety of assumed names may have victimized a number of women between Oregon and Washington over the last several decades, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The agency hopes to hear from other victims who have not yet come forward.

Now 52 years old, the FBI said that Robert Arnold Koester worked as a professional photographer under a variety of aliases — including Bert Kay, Rhake Winter, and Qitooly — and is accused of sexually assaulting a number of models, some of them under the age of 18.

The FBI believes Koester's crimes began around 1994 and continued until his arrest in Carlsbad, California on November 13, 2018.

"Alleged victims have been identified in multiple cities across the United States. At the time of his arrest, Koester worked as a professional photographer, engaged in the photography of models, primarily on the West Coast of the United States," the FBI said in a statement.

At the time of his arrest in November, Koester was living in Southern California. However, he is known to own a farm in "the rural Carlton area" of Yamhill County in Oregon. A joint investigation between the the FBI’s Portland Field Office and the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office is ongoing.

In January of his year, a Grand Jury charged Koester with 32 felony counts related to four different victims, one of whom was a minor at the time of the alleged assault. The counts included multiple charges for first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, first-degree unlawful sexual penetration and causing another person to ingest a controlled substance.

Koester’s bail on the Yamhill County counts has been set at $2.5 million.

The FBI said that their offices in Portland and San Diego have been working with local law enforcement in both Oregon and California to identify any more potential victims in the case.

If you someone you know may have been victimized by Robert Arnold Koester, the FBI requests that you complete this secure, confidential online questionnaire. Information from the public may also be submitted confidentially via email to: ModelCase@fbi.gov.

"An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and all defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty," the FBI reminded in its statement.

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