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.



I don't think so. DT has commented on wrongs in Erie County. He has taken taken special interest in Sandusky County but they are long overdue.


That's good enough for me. I respect your comments.


Here's what we do know Texx. This Ricky guy is #$@!^%. He gives good L.E. a bad name. To the Register...hope you push hard on this topic!


If this were a female child there would have been charges straight away. Why are we sending the message to our future men that they will not get protection and if they do they will be on blast? This could be why we have so many screwed up "men" out there such as this one messing with little kids. This story is horrible for so many reasons.

John Harville

Justice... not so. Read elsewhere on here about nine female students who charged a Clyde-Green Springs teacher with improper touching, language, etc.
The prosecutor declined to prosecute but warned the teacher/coach 'one more incident...". Well, just let it be said that crimes against girls in these counties also get buried.


"Read elsewhere on here about nine female students who charged a Clyde-Green Springs teacher with improper touching, language, etc."

I see that Erie County OHIO authorities refused to look into misconduct about a male teacher having sex with the female students at the vocational school called EHOVE.


After reading all of this..where are the parents in this? I would be pressing for prosecution!! I don't care if it happened 5 years ago or not!!


Well, it looks like the parent of the 5 year old, got head butted when she tried to stop the spanking. She then went out and attempted to get a CPO.

And I'm guessing, when the other parent, tried to get her CPO, she listed the masturbation episodes, as part of the reason to get her protection order.

The problem here, is not with the mothers! It is with the Good Ole Boys protecting each other!



The charges that could be made against this man are endless but the parents and the boy have no recourse because Stierwalt has rendered all of them dead in the water. You can't get past Stierwalt or at least I don't know how you can.

I don't know how Stierwalt can look at himself in the mirror. He's letting this man slide for violating this boy and taking his innocence yet he crucifies Ms. Nasonti and forces her to register every 90 days for life as a perverted sex offender. Beyond disgusting.


DG, going after a female teacher and letting male teachers get away is called selective prosecution. OHIO is widely known for that. Sometimes innocent people are over-charged with false crimes punishable with decades in prison. These innocent people are then told by their incompetent defense attorneys to plead guilty to lesser charges even though the victim was innocent of all charges.

Julie R.

This is so totally unbelievable, I had to read this article twice just to make sure I was reading it right.

How bout that

This guy is still a cop!!????

HS Sports Fan

Why doesn't this surprise me? These above the law, none law abiding scumbags are into something all the time. And always get away with it. Why is this, What is wrong with their minds? Could you imagine being married to or being a child of one of these clowns? PITIFUL!

Tribute to survivors of child sexual assault by law enforcement officers.

"More police officers are convicted of child sex crimes than all other professions combined. It's law enforcement's "dirty little secret", and one we are committed to exposing. Police officers use their positions of trust to violate our children. Their victims are threatened with physical harm and told no one will believe their word over that of a police officer. If your child has been left alone with a law enforcement officer and you suspect something may have occurred contact a psychologist immediately and have them speak with your child. Millions of incidents take place each and every year while only a fraction of the victims come forward due to the fear of their abuser. We are an organization that is firmly committed to dispelling the myth that law enforcement officers should be trusted by children and their families. Feel free to contact us for more information."


Ricky's sickening SR story was posted on the above Facebook page.

"If it weren’t for the costume in which Ohio resident Ricky Vitte, Jr. dresses each day, he would probably be facing felony child sex abuse charges and the prospect of being designated a violent sexual offender for life."

"Prosecutors won’t charge Ohio trooper who masturbated with boy to teach him about sex"
"Sandusky County, Ohio Sheriff’s Deputy Sean O’Connell said an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper with a history of domestic violence won’t face charges related to alleged sexual encounters involving a boy even though Trooper Ricky Vitte Jr. acknowledged to his wife that he watched porn with the boy five years ago. In addition, he admitted to he and the boy masturbated together."

This news story is spreading and lots of thanks to the Sandusky Register.


Comments on

"Some people should not be in law enforcement, Sean O’Connell is one of those people. I think it is time for him to find a new career at the very least."

"Well, the county is certainly named correctly."

"He should be in jail with Sandusky. Not working for Sandusky county. Sicko perve."

Simple Enough II

Why shouldn't he be a detective? He can only investigate, present his findings, it is up to the prosecutor to decide if & what charges to file in the case.


Actually law enforcement officers have a duty to arrest if a crime is committed in their presence. O'Connell failed to arrest Vitte when he fled O'Connell in a dangerous pursuit. That is likely felony fleeing and eluding and O'Connell should have arrested him at the time.

The actions also indicate consciousness of guilt and one could presume Vitte thought he was to be arrested for the alleged crimes against the boy. So there's some other crimes O'Connell that could have directly charged him.

When was the last time a police officer called the prosecutor to OK an arrest fleeing and eluding, reckless op, or any other crime that occurs in their presence? They don't need an indictment as they can directly charge a felony into Municipal Court where the defendant can waive the grand jury and be bound over, or wait until indicted.

Simple Enough II

Oh, the trooper can give plenty of excuses, for example, I heard a call for mutual aid over my radio, I was heading back to my post for XYZ..., I'm working overtime and on patrol....and the final answer is!, "I AM THE LAW".


You've got a point. But O'Connell should have at least tried to arrest and charge and let the Court decide if he has an excuse for fleeing.


Yes, thanks to the SR for posting this story and to all the sites that are picking it up.

Let's leverage this attention to the broader issue of lack of accountability/double standards by LE and the legal system in Sandusky County.

John Harville

A man wants to marry the man he loves... and gets fired.

A male state trooper shows porn to a boy and....all the other shit. And he gets a promotion.

A young father accidentally kills himself with a defective gun and is illegally labelled a suicide.

A mentally ill woman is taunted by jailkeepers who get paid to be quiet - and one of them moved on to another jurisdiction.

A woman dies in a Sandusky jail because no one checked for drugs.

A man gets arrested and jailed and no one knows he has drugs in his underwear until he tries to use them (is that how that story went?)



From reading the comments on a few online sites, I see many references to Jerry Sandusky.


LOL, I always though the reference in the Sandusky trial should have been to the City of Sandusky where sex abuse by LE and members of the government is commonplace.

Maybe people will start to review some of the cases in the City of Sandusky.

Let's see:
Cop rapes girl in police station while hand cuffed.
Erie Commissioner solicits 14 and 16 year old black girls for sex.


I have that information about corrupt Erie County OHIO protecting child molesting crooks.

I wish that Jerry Sandusky would change his name. I search the internet for Sandusky County OHIO and the city of Sandusky OHIO and waste a lot of time because Jerry Sandusky keeps popping up in my online searches even though I eliminated "Jerry Sandusky" and "Jerry" from my search engines.


Yes I forgot a major one:

The former publisher of the Sandusky Register (Jim Hofmann) indicted for sexual abuse of an 8-10 year old boy with a disability but never charged for the sexual abuse of a 8-10 year old girl with a disability. Also the prosecutor conveniently arranged that all the child pornography (federal offense) not be entered as evidence and was never charged for it. Like Vitte, Hofmann groomed his victims by making them watch pornography with him and engaged in masturbation.

That same prosecutor had drug and sexual abuse allegations against him which the Register failed to properly investigate during the publisher's employment. That's Erie County's Good ole boy network.

Tsu Dho Nimh

This is beyond sickening! I wish they would put his butt in jail and let the prison population knock that smile right off of his face! There is absolutely NOTHING that remotely justifies his actions. For those in authority ignoring his actions, Karma is a b@#ch!

"An Ohio State Trooper won't be arrested or lose his job despite allegedly admitting to watching pornography and masturbating with a boy on two occasions."