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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Yamhill County Photographer Charged with Producing Child Pornography

PORTLAND, Ore.—U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced today that Robert Arnold Koester, 52, a photographer from Yamhill County, Oregon, has been charged with six counts of production of child pornography.

According to the indictment, beginning in January 2015, Koester is alleged to have knowingly coerced six minor victims in Oregon to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct.

Koester is a suspected serial sexual predator who took nude photos of models and is alleged to have sexually assaulted many of these models, some of whom are minors. Koester, also known as Bert Kay, Rhake Winter, and Qitooly, has potentially been engaging in these criminal acts since 1994, continuing until his initial arrest in Carlsbad, California, on November 13, 2018.

Koester faces dozens of additional state and federal charges for related criminal conduct in Yamhill County and Carlsbad. On November 15, 2018, Koester was charged in San Diego County Superior Court with six felony counts involving sex crimes against minors. A week later, 35 additional related state charges were added. On February 6, 2019, Koester was charged with 32 related felony charges in Yamhill County Circuit Court. And finally, on March 7, 2019, Koester was charged in a two-count criminal information with production of child pornography by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of California.

Federal law enforcement officials across the country have been working closely with local law enforcement in Carlsbad, Yamhill County and elsewhere to identify potential victims in this case. The FBI has created an online system to collect victim information.

If you have information about this ongoing investigation or believe you or someone you know may have been victimized by Koester, the FBI requests that you complete this secure, confidential online questionnaire. Information and tips from the public may also be submitted confidentially via email to modelcase@fbi.gov.

Identified victims may be eligible for certain services and rights under federal and/or state law. More information is available at fbi.gov/modelcase.

This case was investigated by the FBI in Portland and San Diego, the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office and the Carlsbad Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Ravi Sinha, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated July 22, 2019