SHUT DOWN

A Springfield home health worker was arrested last week after authorities found evidence that he was secretly tapping a girl in the shower.

Sergio Ortiz, 37, has been charged with six crimes of sexual exploitation of a minor and three crimes of invasion of privacy.

Court documents state that Ortiz was employed by Phoenix Home Care and Hospice.

Gwen Beebe, vice president of operations and business development, said Ortiz is no longer employed by Phoenix Home Care and Hospice and the company is fully cooperating with authorities during the investigation.

Sergio Ortiz (Photo: Greene County Jail)

According to a likely cause in the case, Ortiz was hired to look after a young girl in Springfield who has a disability.

On February 25, the statement said the girl’s mother caught Ortiz trying to secretly record his patient’s 7-year-old sister while she was taking a bath.

The statement says that the 7-year-old girl later testified to her mother that Ortiz was playing “hide and seek” and “truth or dare” with her, which prosecutors viewed as attempted foster care.

Springfield Police Department officers received a warrant to search Ortiz’s phone, and the statement said they found dozens of secretly taped videos involving the 7-year-old girl, including videos of showering, bathing and getting dressed.

The statement said there were also videos on Ortiz’s cell phone trying to record another teenage girl’s skirt in a grocery store.

According to prosecutors, Ortiz is a danger to children who have abused his trust as a home carer.

Ortiz was held in Greene County Jail Monday morning and did not have an attorney for the case. His crimes carry possible life sentences.

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