String of sexual assault cases in Charlotte tied to ex-county health worker, police say

New victims have come forward with accusations against a former Mecklenburg County Public Health employee already charged in a sexual assault case, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officials say.

Seven women say Daniel Pitti-Casazola came to their homes and had sexual contact with them under the guise of providing medical care, CMPD officials said at a press conference on Friday.

Pitti-Casazola worked as a Spanish language interpreter for the department for the past nine years, according to personnel records obtained by The Charlotte Observer. He was suspended on July 18, the same day he was arrested and charged in the case of the first victim.

“Mr. Pitti-Casazola preyed on some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” CMPD Lt. James Ivie said Friday. “He did this while portraying himself as a representative of the very institutions that are supposed to protect these people.”

Pitti-Casazola was assigned to the Care Management for At Risk Children department, according to the personnel records. CMPD said each of the women who have come forward were seeking medical care either for themselves, or their young children.

The six victims all had a similar story to tell as the first woman who came forward, Ivie said.

“They initially had contact with Mr. Pitti-Casazola as an interpreter for the Mecklenburg County Health Department,” Ivie said. “He then scheduled a separate visit and came to their residence in order to perform what they believed was a legitimate medical exam.”

Pitti-Casazola is not a medical professional of any kind, Ivie said.

“His visits consisted of a sexual assault of these victims,” Ivie said. “To be clear, in none of these sexual assaults was there an actual rape. But they were each other forms of inappropriate sexual contact.”

Pitti-Casazola was arrested again on Thursday, this time near Fayetteville where he had been staying. He was charged with six additional counts of sexual contact under pretext of medical treatment.

In each instance, Pitti-Casazola worked as a translator for the women and later arranged to come to their house under the pretense of performing a medical examination, according to CMPD.

Pitti-Casazola was in custody at the Cumberland County jail on a $150,000 bond as of Friday, CMPD officials said.

The sexual assaults occurred between February and July, according to CMPD. All of the victims are Hispanic women between the ages of 19 and 32, who only speak Spanish.

The crimes occurred across three CMPD divisions in Charlotte including Steele Creek, Eastway, and North Tryon.

CMPD officials said there may be more victims in the community and encouraged anyone who has questions or believes they may be a victim to come forward.

“We want to stress that CMPD does not inquire into the immigration status of any survivors,” CMPD said in a statement.

CMPD this week presented a search warrant to Mecklenburg County Public Health to obtain protected information regarding the medical treatment the victims received and to receive more information on the work Pitti-Casazola did for the department, Ivie said.

Anyone with information is asked to call 704-336-8279 and speak directly to a Sex Assault Unit detective. Spanish-only speakers may instead call 704-336-7922.