Attorney Dean Henry said he will ask for an investigation to determine who called Sandusky County Prosecutor Tom Stierwalt pretending to be Henry's client, trooper Ricky Vitte Jr.
Click here to listen to the call (includes objectionable language)
Vitte was being investigated for allegedly watching porn and masturbating with a pre-teen boy. Henry called the allegations false and said his clent is innocent, but Stierwalt said Jan. 17 he declined to seek charges mainly because he didn't think he could get a conviction. Vitte could argue an affirmative defense contending he was teaching the boy to masturbate, Stierwalt said.
The investigation was closed Jan. 10, suggesting the time that's elapsed since the incidents took place — about five years ago — and the lack of any physical evidence were the reasons Stierwalt's office declined to pursue a charge.
Stierwalt hasn't confirmed it's him in the recording taking the call, which appears to have been placed to Stierwalt on Jan. 22, but Henry said Stierwalt confirmed it to him.
“He told me,” Henry said, which is the protocol if a criminal suspect who has an attorney contacts a prosecutor or other court official.
Henry subsequently determined it wasn't Vitte who placed the call to Stierwalt, but someone who knows the trooper.
“Theres no question in my mind that the individual that called Tom Stierwalt's office and pretended to be my client knows who my client is,” Henry said. “This is not just some stranger that just called and said 'Hey I'm going to try to pull this off.'”
Henry said he spoke with Stierwalt prior to the decision not to seek an indictment, but notations of that conference, or any notes of conversations with Henry, weren't included with documents released by Stierwalt previously in response to a public records request from the Register.
Stierwalt has declined to reply to written questions or respond to followup telephone messages left for him from the Register.
"I'm not sure what we can do, except ignore it," the person who appears to be Stierwalt tells the caller he thinks is Vitte Jr., after the caller asks for advice how to respond to the attention that's been drawn to the investigation.