Former Photographer Charged With Sexual Assault In Oregon and California

A former photographer has been charged with a dozen counts of sexual assault in Oregon and California, and police are seeking for more victims.

The FBI, Yamhill County Sheriff's Office, and Carlsbad Police in California are asking for the public's help in identifying possible victims of a suspected serial sexual predator. Police say 52-year-old Robert Koester - also known as Bert Kay, Rhake Winter, and Qitooly, took nude photos of models and is alleged to have sexually assaulted many of these models, including some younger than 18 years of age.

Police believe Koester has been potentially engaging in these criminal acts starting in 1994 and continued through 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.  

At the time of his initial arrest in November 2018 by the Carlsbad Police Department, Koester was living in Southern California. He currently faces 23 felony charges filed by state prosecutors in San Diego County related to that arrest, including child sexual abuse and production of child pornography. 

Koester also faces two federal counts of sexual exploitation of a minor in California based on an investigation by the San Diego FBI. Koester remains in custody in San Diego, California.

Koester owns a farm in the rural Carlton area of Yamhill County and a joint investigation by the FBI’s Portland Field Office and the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office is ongoing.

On January 30, 2019, the Yamhill County Grand Jury charged Koester with 32 felony counts involving four separate victims, one of whom was a minor. 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.

FBI offices in San Diego and Portland as well as FBI Headquarters have been working hand-in-hand with local law enforcement in Carlsbad, California, Yamhill County, and elsewhere to coordinate the law enforcement effort to identify potential victims in this case. As a result, the FBI has created a central electronic system to collect information in an effort to identify all potential victims in order to fully investigate this case.

If you someone you know may have been victimized by Koester, the FBI requests that you complete a secure, confidential online questionnaire on their website.

Information from the public may also be submitted confidentially by email to ModelCase@fbi.gov.

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