Ohio Prosecutor Refuses To Bring Case To Grand Jury After Police Officer Allegedly Watches Porn and Masturbates With Young Boy and Later Flees From Police

vitte_ricky_jrStierwalt0005_ppThere is a disturbing case out of Ohio where an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper reportedly admitted to sexual encounters with a boy five years ago but will not face any criminal charges. (However, the trooper now denies those allegations). Trooper Ricky Vitte Jr. (left) has a history of domestic violence and admitted that he watched pornography with the boy and then they masturbated. He insists that he was trying to help the boy and was not engaging in the conduct for sexual gratification (at least not direct at the boy). It appears that Vitte will also continue as an officer with the state patrol after Sandusky County prosecutor Tom Stierwalt (right) refused to bring the case to a grand jury.

Vitte insisted that a dresser was between the two of them during their masturbation and that he was just trying to teach him about sex. Sandusky County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean O’Connell is quoted as saying “Rick’s reasoning is the fact that he did not want (the boy) to feel pressured on feeling the need to have to have sex with someone, when he can fix those needs by masturbating to porn.” (Note to Sandusky County. When answering questions about the refusal to charge a fellow officer who admitted to watching porn and masturbating with a young boy, you might was to avoid calling him informally by the first name.)

Sandusky County prosecutor Tom Stierwalt reportedly believed that too much time has elapsed but the statute of limitations for a felony is six years and only five have passed. Stierwalt reportedly believed that Vitte had stated for fully justified defense to explain his actions and thus did not see the need to present the matter to a grand jury. However, when an officer is involved, many would argue for the greater need to submit such a matter to a grand jury to avoid the appearance of favoritism and to guarantee an independent review.

Making this even more bizarre is a story today where Vitte’s attorney says that they never discussed an affirmative defense with Stierwalt and that his client denies all of the allegations.

The prior domestic violence charge involve Vitte’s then-girlfriend’s 5-year-old son when Vitte spanked the boy’s buttocks so aggressively that they were bruised and bleeding. He was then accused of head-butting the mother when she argued with him. He was given a plea agreement and was convicted on a reduced charge of child endangering. Yet, that did not appear to prevent his serving as a law enforcement officer.

During the recent investigation, one of Vitte’s children described rough treatment and his family said that they saw him punch holes in walls and doors in moments of rage. He was also described as dragging his wife into another room by the arm.

It gets even more curious. Vitte was represented in the past by attorney Dean Henry, who has worked closely with O’Connell since November 2012. Moreover, last year, when O’Connell and social workers tried to interview Vitte about the most recent allegation, he sped away from his home in his Ohio State Highway Patrol cruiser. This resulted in a chase with O’Connell’s car use overhead lights and speed reaching up to 60 mph before the chase ended. he was found to have been “purposely fleeing the area to avoid confrontation and or an arrest” in O’Connell’s report. He then refused to talk about the allegation with the boy. He was never charged with fleeing from law enforcement.

Henry now insists that “[m]y client absolutely and categorically and completely denies … all of those allegations.”

Vitte remains a state trooper in good standing with an annual salary of about $83,000. His father is a retired Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper.

This all leaves me highly concerned about the treatment of the case, particularly the decision of Stierwalt’s refusal to submit the case to a grand jury. I also fail to see how someone who flees from police and has a violent past would remain an officer of good standing if the police or prosecutor believes the allegations.

I fail to see how an adult can expire a child to pornography and engage in a sex act under the justification of a “lesson.” Putting aside the lack of criminal charges, there is also the question of his continued work as a law enforcement officer. What do you think?

Source: Sandusky Register

21 thoughts on “Ohio Prosecutor Refuses To Bring Case To Grand Jury After Police Officer Allegedly Watches Porn and Masturbates With Young Boy and Later Flees From Police

  1. Yet, that did not appear to prevent his serving as a law enforcement officer.

    Makes you wonder just what it WILL take!?!?

  2. This is Sandusky…. What do you expect…. It’s Lake Erie…..the drainage swamp for all of the other Great Lakes…. It has to be in the water……

    But then again, the state attorney general can take over if the city, county refuses to take action…. It’s a good ole boy network….

  3. Actually Sandusky isn’t in Sandusky County–except for a small section of Sandusky Bay, it’s all inland and the main town is Fremont. The Ohio Turnpike, which the state troopers patrols goes straight through the County.

  4. http://www.sanduskyregister.com/article/5202236

    Jan. 21, 2014

    Sandusky County sheriff’s Captain Sean O’Connell
    responds to questions from the Register

    Q: Is the suspect the son of a retired state trooper?
    A: Sgt. Ricky Vitte is the son of a retired State Trooper.

    Q: Did you know or at any time in the past meet or work with the suspect in a law enforcement capacity or meet him or have any social contact with him or members of his family prior to being asked to investigate this incident? If so, please explain.
    A: I did not know of Sgt. Vitte nor of his family prior to this investigation.

    Q: In the report you authored, you indicate the boy’s mother confronted him about the allegations and the suspect told her he showed the boy pornographic videos as a teaching moment. You do not say how you received this information. Did you interview the victim’s mother? If you did not interview her, why not? If you did interview her, why are her comments not included in the case file?
    A: (She) was interviewed several times as well. Statements, which she and the children made, were recorded on video/audio by children services along with a reports being done by those agencies. Those reports were later forwarded to me.

    Q: Were you made aware of the type of videos he viewed with the boy while they masturbated together? What was the nature of the videos? Was the boy asked about the nature and type of videos?
    A: The information, which you are looking for is documented in the reports received by Children Services.

    Q: Was the boy asked about the teaching method the suspect used while showing the boy the porn videos? What were the suspect’s instructions to the boy?
    A: The information, which you are looking for is documented in the reports received by Children Services.

    Q: Why does your report state the reason the prosecutor declined to bring charges was the amount of time that’s elapsed and the lack of physical evidence, but the prosecutor said it was due to the potential of an affirmative defense and a teaching moment?
    A: In speaking with the Prosecutor’s Office, it’s a combination of a several factors that come into play, which relates to why charges have not been filed.

    Q: Since the suspect acknowledged to the boy’s mother watching porn and masturbating together with the boy, what physical evidence do think might be needed to warrant charges?

    A: A statement from Sgt. Vitte would be helpful, the video, which the victim describes and perhaps statements made by Sgt. Vitte to others if these statements were to be made available.

  5. Well, the last time I passed through that County times were a changing. There were 4 dead in O HI O and we feared that soldiers were gunning us down. But, how can you run, when you know? We passed through Sandusky on the way to Kent State. When we left we knew a lot more. That was 40 plus years ago and back then I was not a dog. This guy here in the story might be a good cop and a good guy. Lots of old allegations. Nothing on video tape. No smoking gun. Too young to have been at Kent State.

  6. BarkinDog,
    I was in college during Kent State and it left an indelible mark on my soul and mind. Great song that you were quoting, by the way!
    ap,
    That is a disturbing line of questioning.

  7. rafflaw,

    I agree.

    ———

    Barkin,

    A lawyer with whom I work* sent me an interesting article earlier today:

    http://news.yahoo.com/bulger-defends-himself-39-whitey-39-doc-sundance-140536360.html

    From that piece:

    “But the truth that rises to the top,” the director said, “is that allegations of government corruption — whether they’re true or not — need to be explored if we are to ever have faith in our institutions (and) the whole criminal justice system.”

    I would change it slightly to explicitly include corruption in law enforcement.

    Personally, I think that “Rick” Vitte is trouble with a capital “T” and suspect that he’ll be in the news again. Let’s hope that he doesn’t kill anyone.

    (*I’m not a lawyer.)

  8. Don’t worry everyone, I’m sure this guy is just a bad apple, and the ethical, dedicated personnel he works with will make it clear that they don’t want to work with him.

    Right?

  9. This is for Rafflaw:

    “Ohio”

    Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
    We’re finally on our own.
    This summer I hear the drumming,
    Four dead in Ohio.

    Gotta get down to it
    Soldiers are cutting us down
    Should have been done long ago.
    What if you knew her
    And found her dead on the ground
    How can you run when you know?

    Gotta get down to it
    Soldiers are cutting us down
    Should have been done long ago.
    What if you knew her
    And found her dead on the ground
    How can you run when you know?

    Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
    We’re finally on our own.
    This summer I hear the drumming,
    Four dead in Ohio.

  10. I wonder what is going on in the background with this prosecutor. I’ll be if this prosecutor really wanted to go after someone that was 10 days past the statute of limitations he would assign a deputy prosc. to look long and hard to find where the suspect had left the state for a week and thereby froze the countdown on the statute.

  11. With the these days,it shouldn’t come as a surprise that
    people are beginning to study the effects of it on our sex lives. which is committed to
    abstaining from porn and masturbation,has helped researchers open the door to a better
    understanding of the effects of pornography on our lives.

  12. OHIO lyrics as chilling as a glance at the morning paper. The fear that I felt when I heard of the murders at Kent State are the same I feel every time I hear Obama and others explain torture and spying by the NSA as acceptable and necessary. The difference is that its not nervous national guard members, the perpetrators are cold blooded “leaders”.

  13. I hope he hadn’t been taking the victim for rides the the department’s Armored Personnel Carrier before sexually abusing him. There was a case were a prosecutor was doing far less than this officer was doing and the feds. got him on a 1983 violation and I believe his sentence was 4 years.

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