Local law enforcement agencies have arrested a 35-year-old Cupertino man they suspect of harassing at least 19 female juveniles across the state – including within Los Altos – by stalking, offering gifts and even crafting collages of his targets.
Detectives with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Sexual Assault Investigation Unit, the SAFE Task Force and the Los Alto Police Department collaborated in the investigation and arrested Rajeev Sahni on a warrant Wednesday (March 8), according to a Sheriff’s Office press release. Sahni, charged with stalking and annoying underage girls, is being held at the Santa Clara County Jail without bail until his arraignment, which could take place by Friday.
In January, a local teen and her mother contacted the Los Altos Police Department to report a middle-aged man who had repeatedly approached the girl and gave her a business card directing her to his website, www.jcmakeover.com, said Sgt. Brian Jeffrey, Los Altos Police Department detective.
The girl didn’t know the man, and she felt the interactions were “kind of creepy and didn’t make her feel comfortable,” Jeffrey said.
Presumably written for adolescents, Sahni’s website promotes a book titled “J C Makeover” and contains advice on a range of subjects, including relationships, celebrities and religion, and promotes abstinence from drugs, alcohol and sex.
“My name is Raj,” the homepage reads. “I’m promoting my book called J C Makeover. It’s about a inner beauty makeover, into becoming a beautiful person on the inside, in who we are, our choices, our relationships, friendships, families, schools, career and our life’s.”
A man matching a description provided by the first girl contacted two additional girls in a similar manner in Los Altos, Jeffrey said. By posting an interagency flier about the encounters, detectives learned of related investigations by law enforcement agencies in San Jose, Saratoga, Los Gatos and Los Angeles.
Detectives identified Sahni through his website and obtained a search warrant through a judge, Jeffrey said. While serving the warrant at Sahni’s home Wednesday, they discovered photo collages of his targets and gifts he intended to give them, including a personalized license plate for one girl.
One Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office case involved a 14-year-old who said Sahni offered her gifts, including money and show tickets, and followed her home more than a dozen times, according to the release.
“Although confronted about his behavior by a family member, Sahni continued to follow and harass the female juvenile,” according to the release.
Sahni has applied to become a schoolteacher, a nanny and an in-home child care provider, according to the release. There is no evidence he ever taught, and his attempts to volunteer as a youth mentor or pastor at several South Bay churches were thwarted, however, due to his “concerning behavior around young females.”
As many as 19 victims -- targeted over the course of years -- have been identified, but there could be more, officials said.
“The safety of our community is extremely important to us,” Jeffrey said. “If there are any other victims out there who recognize this guy or were contacted by him, please come forward.”
The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office asks individuals with information relevant to the investigation to contact the Sheriff’s detective bureau at (408) 808-4500.
Look for more a detailed article on this case in next week’s Town Crier.