Trooper gives sex lesson

Sandusky County prosecutor Stierwalt: No crime in highway patrolman's sexual encounter with pre-teen
Courtney Astolfi
Jan 22, 2014

An Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper with a history of domestic violence won't face charges related to alleged sexual encounters involving a boy, Sandusky County Sheriff's Deputy Sean O'Connell said. 

Click HERE for more stories involving the Sandusky County Sheriff's Office

Trooper Ricky Vitte Jr. acknowledged to his wife that he watched porn with the boy five years ago and both Vitte and the boy masturbated together, according to a report by O'Connell. 

Vitte later told his wife he was attempting to teach the boy about sex, the report said.

Vitte said a dresser blocked his and the boy's views of each other as they both masturbated, according to the report, which also alleges there were two sexual encounters of that nature involving Vitte and the boy. 

"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," O'Connell wrote after an interview with Vitte's wife.

Click here to read responses from O'Connell to questions posed by the Register

Sandusky County prosecutor Tom Stierwalt opted against seeking an indictment. He declined to present testimony before a grand jury because Vitte might have presented a defense that justified his alleged actions, Stierwalt said.

This is not the first time Vitte's off-duty behavior warranted a criminal investigation.

Five years before Vitte allegedly masturbated with the boy, he was charged with domestic violence. When his then-girlfriend's 5-year-old son wet the bed, Vitte spanked the boy's buttocks until they were bruised and bleeding, according to a Sandusky County deputy's report.

When an argument ensued over the spanking, Vitte head-butted the woman, the report said. In a plea agreement, he later pleaded no contest and was convicted on a reduced charge of child endangering.  

Sandusky County officials initially did not provide the woman's identity to the Register — they redacted her name on an incident report — but the name was later included, without redactions, on a second copy of the report officials provided.  

Vitte's violent past resurfaced during the recent sex crime investigation.

During an interview with social workers, one of Vitte's children said his father has pushed and shoved him over the years, and punched him at least once, according to O'Connell's report.

The boy and his siblings also told investigators they saw their father punch holes in walls and doors during violent fits of rage. At other times, they watched Vitte drag their mother into another room by her arm and begin yelling at her, the report stated.

Vitte has been represented in the past by attorney Dean Henry, who has worked closely with O'Connell since November 2012 as a special prosecutor and defense counsel for Sandusky County working on the Limberios death investigation. 

Late 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. 

A chase ensued. O'Connell instructed the deputy driving to activate the overhead lights in his cruiser, and Vitte fled for about a mile at speeds of up to 60 mph before the chase ended, according to the report. 

"He was purposely fleeing the area to avoid confrontation and or an arrest," O'Connell said in his report. 

When Vitte finally stopped and O'Connell questioned him about allegedly masturbating with a boy, Vitte declined to talk and said he wanted to contact his attorney first. 

Vitte was not charged for fleeing from law enforcement.

O'Connell said that decision was made by the prosecutor, but Stierwalt said, "I suppose that's something; we could give a misdemeanor." 

O'Connell did not provide any further information in his report detailing whether he interviewed Vitte, or what he said, or whether he was represented by Henry or a different attorney in this latest incident.

In a Jan. 10 memo included in O'Connell's report, the detective stated the reason Stierwalt declined to seek charges was because of the amount of time that had elapsed since the incident, as well as the lack of physical evidence. 

It's not clear why the time element would be a factor, since the statute of limitations for felonies in Ohio is six years and the alleged sexual encounters with the boy happened five years ago. O'Connell also did not say in the report what physical evidence he was seeking. 

But when asked about the reasons O'Connell listed, Stierwalt said he reviewed the file again after the Register made a public records request. After that second review, he determined the main reason he declined to seek charges was Vitte could argue he masturbated with the boy while watching pornography to teach him about sex, suggesting it was not a crime for which Stierwalt could get a conviction. 

It's not clear why Stierwalt would preemptively decline to file charges. Generally it is incumbent on the suspect to present his own defense, rather than the prosecutor providing a defense for him. Stierwalt did not respond to written questions the Register emailed him, asking about these and other issues.    

O'Connell maintained the report had no discrepancies in need of correcting.

"I can't imagine a situation where that would be appropriate in our culture," clinical counselor Marlene Boas said.

"If he would've masturbated in the same room as (a pre-teen girl), do you think he would be prosecuted?" Boas said.

Vitte is a state trooper in good standing, according to his personnel file with the Ohio State Highway Patrol. His annual salary at the Toledo patrol post is about $83,000. 

His father, Richard Vitte Sr., is a retired Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper. 

Vitte's wife, and the past girlfriend of the 5-year-old child who was bruised and bleeding from his buttocks after Vitte spanked the boy and allegedly head-butted the woman, both obtained civil protection orders against Vitte in the past. 

The most recent CPO was modified, however, to allow Vitte to carry his service revolver so he could continue to work as a state trooper.   

Attorney Henry is representing Vitte Jr. in a court motion filed by Vitte's wife described as a "domestic violence petition filed with parenting affidavit." She appears to be seeking full custody of the couple's five children and has requested Vitte not be allowed access to them, according to court records. 

In response to the motion, attorney Henry appears to have successfully petitioned to allow Vitte to carry weapons and give him supervised visitation with his children. 

Henry declined to respond to the Register's inquiry. 

Click here to read written answers from Detective O'Connell.

Comments

Centauri

"Look how many people were involved in the Clyde-Green Springs theft but only Todd Helms (also defended by Henry) is in prison."

Interesting comment. The powers that be are known to throw someone under the bus in order to protect their own hides. I am curious about the Todd Helms case. About how many people were involved? Was it a cover-up? If so, without names, can you let it be known that maybe a school board member(s), school treasurer, prosecutor, judge, attorney or prominent people in the community?

Kilroy

this is discussing.

What defense could he provide?

Does he have a degree in teaching or is he a teacher for the state?

I guess that creep in Cleveland was teaching those 3 girls how to stay inside for 10 years...

He should be sitting in jail

John Harville

Kilroy... the defense he could provide is the defense he provided - that he was teaching the boy he doesn't need to have sex with others because he can take care of his own needs. Supposedly they didn't touch each other and there was a 'dresser' between them so they couldn't see each other.
Just sayin'... you'd have to live there.

Babo

This comment from Stierwalt (Vitte has an affirmative defense) is legal nonsense. Targets of a grand jury probe do not get to appear at a Grand Jury in Ohio and present their defense in advance of Indictment.

Stierwalt knows that if the cases were presented to a Grand Jury that the Grand Jury would indict him and he would then be forced to prosecute a case he doesn't want to prosecute because of all the favors that are owed in his circle. (protecting sex and drug crimes and worse among LE and some public officers)

In other words, Vitte knows too much and has to be protected by Stierwalt.

John Harville

Question... seriously... for your wisdom.
If this occurred in Sandusky County, why wasn't Vitte arrested by Sandusky County authorities.. like Sheriff Kyle Overmyer?

Oh... never mind.

DGMutley

What a scumbag this Ricky Vitte Jr. is!!! I was under the impression that the Ohio State Patrol takes a very dim view on this type of behavior. Very surprised that he still has a job!

Centauri

"Sandusky County prosecutor Tom Stierwalt opted against seeking an indictment"

"Vitte has been represented in the past by attorney Dean Henry"

"Vitte was not charged for fleeing from law enforcement" WHY NOT!!

"Vitte is a state trooper in good standing"
Good standing? A joke maybe?

"Attorney Henry is representing Vitte Jr. in a court motion filed by Vitte's wife described as a "domestic violence petition filed with parenting affidavit."

$83,000 a year is enough for child support and maybe alimony.

http://statepatrol.ohio.gov/doc/...
Sgt. Ricky & Nicole Vitte, Toledo, a boy, 2/11/09.

For Shame Ricky! For Shame!

Concerned For A...

I can NOT even begin to wrap my head around this!! WTH is going on over there in Scumdusky county??? This is absolutely appalling!! Why in the world would this guy still have a badge. This is outrageous!! Not even any slaps on the wrist. This is bullcrap at its finest. These are the kind of "heros" we are expected to let our children look up to?? Here kids..look, you can be an officer of the law so you can do and get away with whatever your heart desires! Disgusting!

DickTracey

Concerned, it's called the Good Ole Boys looking out for each other.

Do you not see the comparison to the Catholic priests, hiding and covering up for the perverted priests?

The same thing goes in law enforcement. "The crazy wife makes accusations" and the brothers hide evidence and make it go away.

It's just politics, somebody owes some body a favor.

It's interesting to note, that 6,000 pages of cover ups in the Chicago Archdiocese, were posted online today. Showing the lies and cover up of over 30 priests in that district.

They could have chosen any county to investigate Vitte, they chose Sandusky County for obvious reasons.

John Harville

...and it's in infamous Overmyer County.

John Harville

Careful... DT. Babo and others will attack you,, too, for even drawing a thin line between Troopergate and anything Catholic.

Babo

No we won't. We question improper analogies and broad brush generalizations.

Troopers are public employees while the Church is a private institution. The incidence of child sexual abuse and crimes of violence is far more prevalent in law enforcement and the legal system (where it has been systematically covered up for years) but for some reason it doesn't generate the same public outrage in the media as does the Church abuse scandal.

I find the actions of some priests and some members of the Church hierarchy to be outrageous and thank God that there does appear to be some accountability to the hierarchal Catholic Church. I just wish the bigger crisis among law enforcement and government officials (lack of accountability for extreme misconduct) received the same or even more attention so that victims of abuse have someplace meaningful to report it.

At least the victims of church abuse could go to the police, but if you're abused by the police where do you report it?

Centauri

"Troopers are public employees while the Church is a private institution."

Privite institutions or business can fire you or make things so difficult that one will leave.

Public employees such as police, prosecutors and judges are very
powerful figures. They get the "State Of Ohio" to back them up. These public employees allow the guilty to get away with crimes such as murder, rape and other heinous crimes but go after innocent people who committed no crimes. Many prosecutors will have evidence that the victim is innocent but is more focused on conviction rates like that crook Bill Mason in corrupt Cuyahoga County OHIO. I have more respect for prosecutors with low conviction rates who know the true facts than crook prosecutors who hold back truthful facts or manufacture evidence to convict innocent people.

How does a person report crime in corrupt Ohio if the police or prosecutor brush you off? One calls the Ohio Attorney General with evidence of corruption or crimes and the OAG brushes you off and tells you to contact your county prosecutor where the problem is. It's very difficult to weed out corrupt county prosecutors in corrupt Ohio. Newspapers can be very valuable to inform the citizens and it is up to the citizens to demand action for corrupt public officials. Ohio is full of corrupt Federal agents but the only remedy I see is to notify the Department Of Justice to investigate. There was a reason why 200 FBI agents were used from out of state when a raid on corrupt Cuyahoga County OHIO commenced.

Simple Enough II

John, Why are you trying to Be "Little" others is this "Little Man" syndrome kicking in?

John Harville

Maybe it all just has something to do with the name Sandusky...

Centauri

Why is the Fremont Snooze-Massengill keeping this story under wraps?

John Harville

You mean the Newark-Mansfield News Mess? There's hardly anybody locally around to do the story.

John Harville

It's column one in Wed issue.

Centauri

Thanks John, I posted the link.

Centauri

http://www.justice.gov/criminal/...
"Child sexual abuse matters are generally handled by local and state authorities, and not by the federal government."
"To report a child sexual abuse issue, contact your local or state law enforcement agency."

What a joke!

Dcfred20036

I do have to give it to the SR-- wonderful headlines, LOL!

John Harville

You should do some archive research into the Limberios case... it actually went to Dr. Phil.

In fact I hope you will look into it as it could use some federal exposure. The AG determined Jake Limberios accidentally fatally wounded himself with a defective gun. The coroner - who did not go to the scene - declared the case an accidental suicide. The law- and the AG - designates the suicide definition to be 'intentional'. But the Coronor - defended by Dean Henry (recognize that name) refuses to change it.
It gets better... Henry also was named as special prosecutor to investigate the case (am I getting this right folks). One judge recused herself and the other - along with Henry - was fired by a special judge.
Please fred... consider looking into it.
You also might be interested in the Sandusky County Sheriff's Department - the Sheriff, his father (retired), brother-in-law are all officers in the Department, his sister is Clerk of Courts, the Chief Deputy and his son all are involved in the Limberios case.
Yeah... it's just one big dysfunctional county.

DickTracey

John, I think you meant Dr. Phil.

Watch out, your showing your age, not many on here know Phil Donahue.

Matt Westerhold

I've made that mistake also, showing my age by inadvertently referring to the Dr. Phil as Phil Donahue. Donahue was a master, and if I remember correctly, he started in Dayton. 

whattheBucks

Is the caller there ?????

John Harville

thanks. I corrected it.
Phil Donahue was ahead of his time - as were/are many of us...

PapaJoe

John, If the county is so bad why do you choose to live there

John Harville

How much will you pay for my house in the middle of a 'contrived' Cancer Cluster?

Simple Enough II

Can they prove with certainty that the weapon safeties failed to operate properly? I read the manufacturer's manual which includes the safe handeling of their and pretty much any firearm. I don't know what was going through that kids mind when he stuck that pistol to his head, do you?

John Harville

There are so many stories along the Naked Northcoast.

Pages