A registered sex offender charged by federal officials with impregnating a 12-year-old Egg Harbor Township girl may have had more victims, according to the FBI.
Joseph Anthony Caracciolo, 47, has a lengthy criminal history dating to at least 1988, including sexual assault, grand larceny and bigamy, according to the federal complaint. He is also wanted in California for failure to properly register as a sex offender. His exact address was not listed, but he has been known to stay at various places, including New York, Virginia and Massachusetts.
Caracciolo, who made his first appearance in federal court in Camden on Tuesday, is accused of sexually assaulting the preteen girl and fathering her daughter. Investigators are urging anyone else who may have been a victim to come forward.
Caracciolo was arrested Aug. 28 in New York, days after a conversation recorded between him and the now-13-year-old mother had him acknowledging that he was the father of the baby girl. Neither the teen nor her child is identified due to the nature of the allegations.
“We could talk about our child, how’s that?” Caracciolo asked the girl in the Aug. 22 call that she consented to have recorded.
Later, according to a transcript in the federal complaint, Caracciolo told her in the same phone call: “I’ll be going to court on Monday, so I will be fighting for her, OK, to be able to see her.”
The complaint does not indicate what court date he was referring to.
The investigation by Egg Harbor Township police began after the girl became pregnant, according to the federal complaint. She told police that an older man — whom she knew as Joe Grillo or Joe Crillo — had sex with her on several occasions between May and August 2012.
She said the man traveled from New York to Egg Harbor Township to see her, and the two had sex in her father’s township home, according to the complaint. Caracciolo also took her to the Poconos, where they had sex, it says.
The FBI learned about the investigation last month.
In an Aug. 13, 2013, text to the girl from a cellphone believed to be used by Caracciolo, he stated: “I really miss you so much ... And I want to hold my (baby’s name redacted) so bad.”
On Aug. 21, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office issued an arrest warrant charging “John Doe” with aggravated sexual assault of a minor younger than 13 years old, because — although the perpetrator was believed to be Caracciolo — he had not yet been positively identified. The next day, with the girl’s and a judge’s permission, a telephone conversation was tapped.
At first, Caracciolo is angry with the girl, accusing her of having a new boyfriend and warning her, “if he comes near my kid, and you can listen to me good ... I will kill him. OK?”
By the end of the conversation, his attitude changes, with him telling the girl that he loves her, “but I need you with me. I don’t need you going to school there,” the complaint reads.
He then asks if she’s still going to accuse him, to which she promises she won’t.
“Text me and ... we’ll figure out a time you could talk,” he then is quoted as saying. “I love you sweetheart.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey has charged him with traveling interstate for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office believe there may be more victims of the man known to travel to New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
During his casino visits, Caracciolo allegedly used aliases and conducted gambling transactions in the names of others he met there.
He has several tattoos, including ivy on his left finger, a chef in a chef’s hat with the words “Top Chef” and an underlying quote on his left forearm, a cancer ribbon with boxing gloves on his other forearm, the initials AJ on the inner left wrist, the letter “M” on inner right wrist, the initials NY on the left upper arm and an “X” between the webbing of the thumb and index finger.
His online profile on the national sex offender database lists his offense as “rape by force.” He has been in violation of the registration requirements since Aug. 19, 2005, it says.
A 1995 story in the Lakeland Ledger in Florida said he was sentenced to a year in jail in Loudoun County, Va., for bigamy and grand larceny. The conviction stemmed from jewelry, a car and other items he stole from Jill Forbes, whom he had “married” after he was already wed to someone else.
The paper also reported he spent about a year in jail for forcing a woman to have sex with him in 1988, by posing as a police officer and threatening to arrest her if she didn't comply.
Anyone with information about Caracciolo is asked to call the FBI’s tip line at (800) CALL-FBI. Information can also be provided to the nearest FBI field office or filed electronically at https://tips.fbi.gov.