ESCONDIDO — An Escondido shopper led to the investigation and eventual arrest of a San Diego resident, who now faces charges of child pornography, lewd behavior and many other counts.
Abdullah Sediqi, 64, has been arrested for child pornography, lewd and lascivious acts with minors and disorderly conduct.
Sediqi was arrested after an observant shopper noticed him taking photos up women’s skirts while shopping in Escondido on June 13.
The woman, who has not been identified since she is also a victim, was shopping at Valley Thrift Store on East Valley Parkway.
She noticed Sediqi, crouched low behind her taking photos with his cell phone.
She then followed him and alerted police that he was taking photos up women’s skirts, which is illegal in California.
Escondido Police arrived promptly and arrested him. They also took his phone as evidence.
Some of the girls he was “up-skirting” were juveniles, according to police.
Twenty-three photos of six children from the daycare were found on Sediqi’s cell phone that were concerning, according to Escondido Police Chief Craig Carter.
At least two children were victims of child pornography. Some of the children were between the ages of 3 and 5 years old.
Carter called the photos of the female children “graphic.”
Almost all of the children have been identified and their parents have been notified but the investigation is ongoing and Carter said it’s possible that more children were victimized.
Sediqi’s ex-wife Katrien Sediqi operates Kid’s Castle Day Care in Rancho Bernardo.
Carter is asking for any parents who enrolled their students at the daycare to contact Detective Michelle Mayfield at (760) 839-4926.
Sediqi posted bail and was free when the police uncovered the child pornography on his cell phone.
The police then worked with the U.S. Marshal’s San Diego Fugitive Task Force to find and arrest him in less than 24 hours.
As of press time, the daycare had not been shut down although Carter said he spoke with officials at Child Protective Services and the state licensing division many times.
“They are very attentive to this,” Carter said. “They’re going to work as fast as they can within the parameters that they have with the state,” Carter said.
Carter said parents of the children that attended the daycare facility were shocked.
“The reactions, as you can imagine are shock. They say they ‘trusted this family.’ This certainly caught them off guard,” Carter said.
The daycare is licensed to have six children at a time and 13 are currently enrolled.
It’s been open since 2013.
During the investigation, police found more tablets, computers and hard drives which are undergoing a forensic investigation.
Carter said it’s possible there are more victims and stressed the importance of parents coming forward, regardless of how long the child was enrolled there.
“This is a case we think is going to get bigger,” Carter said.
On June 15, police searched the daycare, which also serves as the residence of Katrien. Abdullah was also apparently still living at the residence.
They found 13.88 grams of cocaine that belonged to their older son, 26-year-old Roin Sediqi.
Sediqi has four adult children.
Carter said it’s too early in the investigation to say whether or not Sediqi’s ex-wife had knowledge or culpability although he said the reason he held a press conference was because he felt there was still some risk with the daycare remaining open.
“Her reaction was not what I would have expected,” Carter said.
Sediqi will be arraigned in Vista Court June 19 at 1:30 p.m.
He faces multiple counts of child pornography, two counts of annoying and molesting a child, four counts of “up skirting.“
“Based on the information alone on his phone, he is looking at multiple lifetime terms,” Carter said.