Restaurant owner accused of hiding camera in bathroom

MOCKSVILLE, N.C. — Deputies say an investigation into child exploitation led to the discovery of a camera inside a restaurant bathroom in Mocksville.

The Davie County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security showed up at the home of Luigi Carciati on Wednesday after getting “multiple tips” from the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Investigators found four electronic devices in Carciati’s home, and they searched through those devices. That’s when they found evidence that led deputies to a popular Italian restaurant, La Vita E Bella. The restaurant is owned by Carciati.

Deputies went to La Vita E Bella and found a camera hidden in the women’s bathroom.

The sheriff’s office tells Channel 9′s Dave Faherty that they’re attempting to identify a woman who may have been recorded in the bathroom.

Carciati is facing 20 counts of third-degree exploitation of a minor, and additional charges could be filed.

Family members told Faherty they were shocked by the allegations. The restaurant was temporarily closed as of Thursday.

One former employee expressed doubt about the charges.

“Let me tell you everybody, Luigi is innocent,” said Madeline Vasquez. “I hope everyone sees this. He would never ever, that guy is an angel.”

One of the workers who cleans the bathrooms told Faherty he never saw any camera there.

Carciati is currently in jail with bonds totaling around $500,000.

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