Woman says former EMT touched her inappropriately while on duty

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A former MEDIC employee has been fired after a woman says he touched her inappropriately while on duty.

Zorana Wortham says the incident happened back in August. According to Wortham, she was ill and was being transferred from a hospital in Steele Creek to a hospital in Pineville. During that transport, she says Julio Lizarazo, who was employed by MEDIC, touched her inappropriately. She says he did the same thing later while she was in her hospital room.

"It has been very stressful and hard for me and my family," said Wortham. "Not being able to sleep and different things."

According to Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office records, Lizarazo was arrested on August 16 and charged with misdemeanor Sexual Battery. The District Attorney's Office confirms that an additional charge of Assault on a Female was added Friday.

"We want to make sure we go through steps to address the criminal matter first," said Barry Brewington, the lead attorney representing Wortham.

MEDIC confirmed that Lizarazo is no longer employed with the agency.

"On August 11, 2017 Mecklenburg EMS Agency (Medic) was notified of a patient complaint against one of the Agency's caregivers.  As of August 16, 2017 that individual was no longer employed by Medic," said Joe Penner, executive director, Mecklenburg EMS Agency. "Agency leaders take seriously any inquiry to safety and patient care."

WBTV reached out to Lizarazo multiple times after court Friday but he declined to comment on the allegations.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human services confirmed that Lizarazo's EMT-paramedic credential is currently suspended.

Wortham said it was hard to speak out but felt it was important.

"It is important because you do not want other people to go through that," said Wortham. "You want to give people a voice and let them know that it is ok to speak up."

According to court records Lizarazo is expected back in court on January 19.

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