Vitte probe still pending

DeWine calls it 'disgusting and shocking;' says he has 'no clue why no one was charged'
Courtney Astolfi
Apr 1, 2014

 

Sandusky County officials remain tight-lipped about a Highway Patrol sergeant who allegedly masturbated with a pre-teen boy, but Ohio’s attorney general recently offered some choice words on the matter.

“I found it disgusting ... and I found the facts to be shocking,” Attorney General Mike DeWine told the Register last week. “I have no clue why no one was charged.”

It’s now been one month since assistant Sandusky County prosecutor Norman Solze said his office was still reviewing its investigation of Patrol Sgt. Ricky Vitte Jr. for the alleged incidents.

“As far as I know, we haven’t come to a complete conclusion on this case,” Solze said Feb. 28, declining further detail.

Since then, Solze has refused to respond to three separate inquiries asking for further clarification on the case’s status. He has, however, responded to multiple questions regarding other Sandusky County cases.

Sandusky County deputies received a complaint in November alleging Vitte twice masturbated with the child while the pair watched porn videos.

Sandusky County sheriff’s detective Sean O’Connell never interviewed Vitte during the ensuing investigation and wrote in a report that the prosecutor’s office declined to pursue charges due to a lack of physical evidence and the length of time that had elapsed since the alleged encounters.

Sandusky County prosecutor Tom Stierwalt later told the Register the “main” reason he did not charge Vitte was because he could argue that he was teaching the boy about sex.

Stierwalt took heat from many in the community after making that decision, refusing to clarify, expand or explain further that reasoning. He has refused to return phone calls or respond to written requests. 

On Jan. 22, Stierwalt took a phone call from someone he thought was Vitte. The phone call was recorded by the person impersonating Vitte, who used a computer program that disguises the caller's telephone number.  

Stierwalt talks with the caller In a friendly tone and tells him all they could do was "ignore" the firestorm of criticism.

"I've been called a motherf*&#er, FOB, son-of-a-bitch motherf*&#er," Stierwalt comiserated with the caller he believed to be Vitte. "I get emails. I'm a little tired of it too."  

Listen to Stierwalt's call with 'Vitte'

Solze would not give any hint what further information might be under review when he commented Feb. 28, and he, too, has gone silent since suggesting it was still under review.

In January, Vitte’s attorney, Dean Henry, told the Register that Vitte denied the allegations and is completely innocent.

Vitte’s Patrol supervisors initially stated they would review the specifics of the allegations against Vitte, but then quickly backpedaled, suggesting they never intended to review Stierwalt’s decision, or whether the allegations merited further internal investigation. 

Because Vitte was not charged in the local investigation, he was reinstated to full service without further questions, they said. 

John Born, director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the agency that oversees the Patrol, has refused to respond to questions about the Patrol’s personnel practices. He did apparently whisper instructions to a spokesperson who was speaking with a Register reporter and editor in February, but refused to identify himself during that conversation.

The spokesperson provided a disjointed explanation for the Patrol’s decision. 

Click here for related articles

Comments

holysee

Doctor an' a lawyer an' an Indian chief
They all dig that crazy beat
Way Down Vittie gave 'em all a treat
When he did that hand jive with his feet

Hand jive, hand jive, hand jive
Do that crazy hand jive

Vittie and Millie got married last fall
They had a little Vittie Junior and that ain't all
Well, the kids got crazy and it's plain to see
I'm doing the hand jive on TV

yea right

its amazing what cops get away with..and this is going to be one of them..

vcreed123

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Babo

A commenter posted on another story that Assistant Prosecutor Lorraine Croy who handles felony cases for Stierwalt is believed to be the person who made the decision not to present the case to the grand jury. IMO, Croy has a history while working in Ottawa County as an assistant prosecutor of basing decisions to prosecute based on politics not the merits of a case.

Croy is presently the Democratic endorsed candidate for Common Pleas Court judge in Ottawa County over incumbent Judge Bruce Winters, also a Democrat. There are allegations that Croy's endorsement by Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern over an incumbent Democratic is based on personal friendship or payment for favors done in the past.

Perhaps the SR could interview Croy about her role in the Vitte case and obtain her views on alleged favoritism in the judicial and criminal justice system based on influence. It appears to me that AP Norman Solze (civil division) is running interference for Stierwalt's criminal division to protect Candidate Croy's role in this mess.

Peninsula Pundit

Sadly, it is easier to believe what you posit as opposed to the idea that Croy is the better candidate.
Winters has been a good judge as far as allowing fair representation of the interests of the people, I can say from first-hand knowledge.
Croy, I would lay a fair wager, will not speak to the SR.
FremontAlice and that other Fremont fellatist will be sure to advise her.

Ralph J.

Babo made a good suggestion that the SR interview Croy. I wonder why the Democrat party dropped Winters and now support Croy. I have to agree with Babo why Croy was selected. Could the reason be that the Democrats dropped Winters because he threw out that marijuana case where the cops manufacted that evidence? I would have to say so. Why no charges against the cops who manufactured the evidence and then lied in court? There might be a little Cuyahoga County residing in Ottawa County.

http://www.sanduskyregister.com/...

Babo

No surprise here: The Drug Task force officers involved in that fabricated evidence case support Croy.

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

For the party of moral relativism, this type recruitment is SOP. Just another youngling undergoing homosexual indoctrination.

Peninsula Pundit

Just a suggestion, but if you could stop the left/right crap and get on the idea that everyone is being affected by LEO malfeasance, we'd all be further ahead in ending it altogether.

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

When will you be admonishing the liberal Obamabots, for doing the very same thing every chance they get? Until then, you’re a hypocrite. Waiting……

44846GWP

The Rev. Phelps spreads his bull sh-t once again.

MiddleRight

At what point does Dewine get tired of Sandusky County corruption and order an investigation of every elected official?

Peninsula Pundit

Well, DeWine admitted at the outset that he'd looked into it and it was adequately addressed by the local authorities.
NOW he says it's a problem.
This guy is as bad or worse than the ones he's supposed to be watching.

Blue.Streaker

Why not ask Mr. Baxter, the Erie County Prosecuting Attorney, for a second opinion?

Ask him what crime he would charge a man with if a teen age boy said the man had masturbated with him five years earlier while watching porn, and there was no other corroborating evidence?

Then ask what his office policy is concerning discussing uncharged sex charges.

mamaC

More reason to investigate Sandusky County DeWine! A child was harmed. How many more children are out there that Sandusky County has not stood up for or protected?

Ctwhalers

Well said mamaC. How many more children or adults have to be harmed or done wrong before you do something. Do the job we voted you in to do.

Blue.Streaker

Doing what Vitte is alleged to have done is disgusting. It is reprehensible. These are my personal feelings. However, it is a crime only if the Ohio Legislature says so. They have not.

Watching a disabled female performing sex acts on herself, and urging her on, is disgusting. It is reprehensible. But it is not a crime for the same reason.

The difference is that the deputies were fired for their behavior because part of their responsibility is the good judgment they failed to use. Vitte also is paid for good judgment, and his employer chooses to shift the blame rather than require good judgment.

The OSP works for the AG. If Mike DeWine is disgusted he should do something about it.

Babo

Actually the acts that Vitte Jr. allegedly engaged in with a then 12 year old boy do constitute crimes except in Sandusky County, Ohio because the prosecutor won't do his job and present the case to a grand jury.

Also, the jail officers were in my opinion guilty of dereliction of duty and likely federal criminal civil rights violations. But again, though the case was presented to a grand jury, if the prosecutors didn't inform the grand jurors of several potential crimes they will no bill and there is no way Sandusky County will ask the Feds to investigate their law enforcement officers and jail.

Blue.Streaker

Sorry to contradict you, but an act is a crime in Ohio ONLY if it violates a section of the Ohio Revised Code. No exceptions.

Start here: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2907

Babo

No reason to apologize as my knowledge of criminal law and criminal procedure is above average and I and will try to keep up with you. My point (Vitte allegedly committed crimes) is based on the facts as presented in this newspaper, and on those facts there appears to be probable cause to charge Viite with http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2907.31.

Also, voyeurism, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor appear to apply to Vitte's alleged actions. Moreover, Vitte's actions in fleeing a police officer attempting to question him about his actions with the minor appear to violate ORC 2921.331 and or obstruction of justice.

Readers for some time have decried what appears to be a double standard in the Vitte and other LE case. If you or I engaged in the same alleged acts with a male minor and tried to flee from the police after the male minor reported the alleged acts we would be arrested and charged. But in Vitte's case no arrest, charge or presentation to a grand jury because if grand jurors heard the facts they would likely throw the book at him no matter how hard a prosecutor tried to obtain a No Bill.

Blue.Streaker

I think 2907.31 is the closest offense applicable. However, the defense would point out that the material must be found either "obscene" or "harmful to juveniles." Without having the actual film to review, no jury would make that distinction "beyond a reasonable doubt."

It seems voyeurism would not apply if they could not see each other, as reported.

If what the kid did amounted to delinquency, heaven help all adolescent boys.

Obstruction? Nah.

Fleeing is problematic. I presume the deputy was in radio contact with Vitte as he followed him. Who knows what happens when one cop wants to stop another cop, and the other one says he was on a call and could not stop? Maybe a jury would convict, but it's a misdemeanor either way.

If the case were presented to a Grand Jury, they would no doubt be appalled. They would likely want to charge Vitte with whatever they could. But they would ask questions about what the evidence is, and whether a conviction is likely.

If the goal is to humiliate Vitte and the OSP, and put a teenage boy through all kinds of intensive and degrading cross-examination, with no more than a 50-50 chance of getting a conviction, go for it.

If the goal is to totally smear Vitte and the OSP without putting the boy though the trauma of testimony, that's already happened.

Just saying.

Babo

1) Pornography as a matter of law is deemed harmful to juveniles as they are not permitted access to it under the age of 18. All you need is the victim's statement describing the pornography and whether or not he saw Vitte masturbating.

2) I don't believe Vitte's story that there was a barrier between them. I want to hear from the Victim.

3) The delinquency aspect applies to an adult exposing a minor to materials that minors are not allowed to purchase or view under the law. It isn't about encouraging a minor to masturbate.

4) The obstruction aspect is related to what appear to be false statements by Vitte concerning the actions with the minor.

5) Fleeing can be a felony on these facts and has been charged on a lot less.

6) It isn't the grand jury's job to determine whether a conviction is likely just to find probable cause a crime or crimes was committed.
It is the fact that the prosecutor will not even present the case to the Grand Jury that creates all the suspicion that the Prosecutor is trying to protect Vitte from an Indictment. Again if this were anybody other than a LEO, they would have likely been arrested upon the complaint of the victim and certainly upon fleeing a police officer.

7) The goals are equal protection under the law for a victim of alleged sexual exploitation and to demonstrate to the public that no one is above the law.

8) The victim came forward as an adult and by all accounts wants to testify. It is Law enforcement that is preventing his complaint being heard and reviewed by neutral parties to protect one of their own.

Blue.Streaker

I thought the victim is now 15 years old? I surely have read nothing indicating he "came forward as an adult and by all accounts wants to testify."

On most of your points you assume the trooper is a liar. If this were so, he would have said it simply never happened.

You assume how the boy would describe pornography. Do you have a special source of information?

Your obstruction statement makes no sense.

Using these facts to allege felony fleeing is a sure "not guilty" verdict.

How do you know this case has not already been presented to the GJ? It may have been, and the GJ didn't like the case. You simply do not know.

Babo

Why your interest in playing defense counsel for Vitte?

Blue.Streaker

You got a problem with seeing both sides of an issue?

justice_forall2014

Request your own copy of the public records and try to be informed rather than just opinionated.

Babo

@ Blue Streaker:

I don't have a problem debating an issue with a peer. However, you do not utilize accurate facts to support your argument. Lack of research and knowledge results in poor persuasive and or analytical writing.

If Sandusky High School has analytical or persuasive writing classes you ought to consider signing up for them in your Junior or Senior year.

Blue.Streaker

Golly, sir, what good advice. Thanks.

And I'll be sure to sign up when I get into high school.

Babo

You're welcome.

DickTracey

Blue.Streaker, you are the one only seeing one side of the issue! Have you thought of the women and children involved with Vitte? How about their side?

January 22, 2014 Register
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.

TWO women have had to get restrained orders on him! TWO times there were findings of domestic violence!
TWO little boys have been naked, in the same room with Vitte under questionable circumstances!
More than TWO children said they saw him punch holes in walls, hit, scream, and scare them!

What kind of man are you, that you come on here, and create a screen just to defend this excuse for a man?

You are defending a man with pedophile tendencies, and violent behavior that terrorizes ONLY women and small children! Ricky behaves at work, because those guys are all his size.

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. If Ricky doesn't go down for this, he will go down in the future when he is sure to do it again. He is a ticking time bomb.

The only reason he has gone unpunished is guys like you, O'Connell, Henry and Steirwalt (to name a few) that defend, cover up and protect violence against women and children.

P.S. You say Vitte is telling the truth? RIGHT, this guy beat a five year old bloody and bleeding, got naked with a 12 year old, ran away from a detective on official business and has findings of domestic violence in two different relationships. I would not believe a word out of his mouth.

sandusky2012

I heard vette has a side business "showing hoe he can shoe kids how to masterbate" he only charges a small fee for this service.....

mamaC

http://www.change.org/petitions/...

Please help all those wronged in SC and sign this petition.

Ralph J.

I think that it was DickTracey who suggested that the SR make up a chart to show who is connected to who in Sandusky County. That is an excellent idea for the SR to publish. Croy was connected to Ottawa County in the past as was Dean Henry.

queenjhb

Just curious, was the porn watched by the kid, gay, straight, kinky, or hardcore stuff, maybe Vette really was grooming him, no matter what the material, why would an adult officer think this is appropriate. Very disconcerting.

Ralph J.

Here I sit on the pooper, giving birth to a Ohio state trooper. Check out this Virginia state trooper.

http://www.fauquier.com/news/art...

KURTje

Ralph J. thanxs for noticing what I previously wrote. "Ricky" gives L.E. a bad name.