PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — A local pharmacist has pleaded guilty to unlawful contact with a minor after she was accused of using the personal information of an underage customer to allegedly prey on her for sexual gratification.
The victim and her family spoke to Action News. They didn’t want to go on camera but they did want to shed light on the case because they were fearful there are other victims.
According to the criminal complaint, Angela D’Alessandro befriended the then 14-year-old victim and her mother at the Giant Pharmacy in Plymouth Meeting.
The family said at the time, D’Alessandro offered to help with the juvenile’s anxiety and depression.
Then in early 2018, D’Alessandro allegedly sent a Hallmark card to the victim with her phone number.
The two began texting, and in the weeks ahead she allegedly kissed and fondled the juvenile, showered her with gifts like a Pandora bracelet and professed her desire to have sex with the teenage girl.
Drexel professor and nationally recognized expert in health care regulation, Dr. Robert Field, called the case unusual.
“It is a pretty horrific ethical violation,” he said.
Field said pharmacists have limited contact with patients, but it’s clear D’Alessandro knew the victim’s medications and fragile state.
“So this pharmacist went out of her way to behave in ways to get to know a patient in a way that was utterly inappropriate to her role,” he said.
According to the criminal complaint, the victim expressed her uneasiness about the inappropriate relationship before it could escalate to sex.
D’Alessandro allegedly ordered the young teen to delete their texts.
The victim and her mother went to the police. In January of 2021, D’Alessandro was charged with unlawful contact with a minor, indecent assault and other charges.
In May she pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful contact with a minor.
Action News tried to ask D’Alessandro about the charges but she ran from our camera.
The victim’s family said they have issues with Giant. They said they continued to see her working at the store well after the charges were filed. It’s unclear when Giant found out about them or the company’s policy with regard to criminal matters. The company said it could not comment on active criminal matters.
D’Alessandro is no longer employed by Giant.
“It seems to me the pharmacist could have been put on administrative leave until the facts of the case were better known,” said Dr. Field.
Victim impact statements will be read at sentencing. Action News received a copy.
In part, the victim states: “…her assault has altered the course of my life and changed me as a person forever.”
This has been devastating for her parents as well.
Her father writes: “This guilt associated with not protecting my daughter has haunted me daily. The abuse suffered at the hands of Ms. D’Alessandro hijacked my daughter’s childhood.”
Sadly, the victim still thinks of harming herself, and her depression and anxiety have only amplified.
She continues therapy.
Sentencing is scheduled for October 5.
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