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. 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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