Ex-case worker for NJ Department of Children and Families admits unwanted sexual advances on moms
🔶 Ex-state worker has admitted to making unwanted sexual advances on women
🔶 The man was a caseworker for the Department of Children and Families
🔶 He groped one mother and sent sexually explicit photos to her, among incidents
TRENTON – A former employee of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families has admitted to making unwanted sexual advances toward women whose cases he worked on.
Attorney General Matthew Platkin on Friday announced a plea deal with Gilberto Ortiz, saying the 53-year-old Ortiz targeted “vulnerable” women and tried to intimidate them into sexual contact.
The Woodbury resident pleaded guilty on May 16 to one second-degree count of pattern of official misconduct.
Under the agreement, prosecutors would recommend a sentence of five years in state prison with no parole eligibility, when Ortiz is sentenced in July in Camden County Superior Court.
🔶 Prosecutors: Ortiz groped one mother during a home visit, sent her explicit photos
Formerly a bilingual family services specialist with DCF, an investigation found Ortiz made sexual advances on one mother during home visits in February 2020.
Ortiz allegedly told the woman that she was involved in a serious case of negligence, while suggesting he would “help her” if she had a relationship with him.
He allegedly touched the same woman’s breasts and genital area without consent, and pushed her hand against his genitals.
After leaving the home, Ortiz allegedly sent the same woman text messages, including a video of him masturbating and sexually explicit photos of himself.
State investigators said they became aware of other victims — finding out Ortiz had groped another woman who had a case with DCF as well as her sister in May 2019, while also trying to kiss them.
A few months earlier, Ortiz began calling and texting a woman whose DCF case he had been assigned to — asking her out on dates while also reminding her that he represented the department that could take her children away.
“This defendant deliberately targeted vulnerable women who feared coming forward because of the perceived control he had over their families and children,” Platkin said in a written statement.
Ortiz was originally charged in March 2020, at which point he was suspended by his employer and then resigned from his job.
His plea deal also includes a forfeiture order, banning him for life from holding public office and public employment in NJ.