Vitte fired

Termination is a reversal of Ohio Highway Patrol's earlier decision to reinstate him when Stierwalt refused to seek charges
Register
Apr 25, 2014

An Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper who allegedly showed porn and masturbated with a 12-year-old boy was fired Thursday. 

The termination of Patrol Sgt. Ricky Vitte Jr. is a reversal of the Patrol's stand after the allegations initially surfaced late last year. 

Sandusky County Prosecutor Tom Stierwalt also did an about face earlier this month when he decided to present evidence to a grand jury and indicted Vitte on a charge of disseminating harmful material to a juvenile.

Prior to that, in January, Stierwalt dropped the investigation and said he did not intend to seek charges against Vitte. Stierwalt said at that time his main reason for not seeking charges was because Vitte could argue he was teaching the boy to masturbate.

That decision caused a firestorm of criticism from across the country after the Register first reported it Jan. 22, including suggestions Vitte was receiving specail consideration from Stierwalt because of his position as a law enforcemnt officer.

Sandusky County sheriff's Capt. Sean O'Connell, who investigated the allegations but never interviewed Vitte, wrote in a report that Vitte's sexual encounters with the boy happened out of concern for the child.

"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 the boy's mother.

The Patrol returned Vitte, who was assigned to the Toledo Post, to full service duty after Stierwalt made his decision in January. A Patrol spokeswoman at that time initially stated the Patrol would conduct an internal investigation of the circumstances surrounding the allegations, but she later stated there was nothing the Patrol could do because Stierwalt had declined to press charges. 

The Register attempted to get clarification from the Patrol, and later sought information from John Born, the director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, about the Patrol's personnel practices. Born is an appointee of Gov. John Kasich, and his agency oversees the Patrol. 

Born refused requests for an interview and did not respond to inquiries from the Register. His spokesman, Joseph Andrews, did respond, however, and reiterated that the Patrol was unable to take any disciplinary action against Vitte because of Stierwalt's earlier decision against filing charges.

Dean Henry, a Tiffin attorney who works as a special prosecutor for Stierwalt's office, also represents Vitte as his defense attorney. He told the Register in December that Vitte denied all of the allegations against him and was completely innocent. 

Henry also represented Vitte in 2003 when he was accused of beating a chid and the child's mother. Vitte was charged with domestice violence in that incident but later entered a guilty plea to a reduced charge of child endagerment. He was reinstated to full service by the Patrol immediately after the plea arrangement at that time. 

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Note: This article has been modified to reflect the Register confirmed Vitte's termination and remove the alternative source provided previously. 

Comments

ContraryAnn

..and how does one get over the 'mindset' when the media and the posters keep referring to 'the victim'. Unless Vitte takes a plea, the young man still will have to testify. The SR made lots of money off this story and the alleged acts (remember, they only are charged, not yet proven).
There is a reason names of persons who are victims (for lack of a better word) are not released... to protect them from undue scrutiny and biased reporting with a focus on getting the alleged criminal.
Each story reiterated the alleged crimes and actions against/with the boy. Was it necessary to keep re-drawing the picture - or in your metaphor - to keep adding rocks, or even snowballs?
In your post, you explained my post. Thanks.

worddrow811

you are welcome. glad to have been some help.

ContraryAnn

..and how does one get over the 'mindset' when the media and the posters keep referring to 'the victim'. Unless Vitte takes a plea, the young man still will have to testify. The SR made lots of money off this story and the alleged acts (remember, they only are charged, not yet proven).
There is a reason names of persons who are victims (for lack of a better word) are not released... to protect them from undue scrutiny and biased reporting with a focus on getting the alleged criminal.
Each story reiterated the alleged crimes and actions against/with the boy. Was it necessary to keep re-drawing the picture - or in your metaphor - to keep adding rocks, or even snowballs?
In your post, you explained my post. Thanks.

deertracker

Hats off to the SR for pursuing this story.

Commenter

Wow. Can't believe they did the right thing. This guy has a history of abuse and it's high time these types of men are held accountable!

Babo

Yes, it is high time predators like Vitte were held accountable. It's just really sad that without the efforts of the SR, Matt Westerhold, Courtney Astolfi, and the people who generated the petition to Governor Kasich; Stierwalt would not have indicted him and the Patrol would not terminate him.

The lessons for the press and people are: 1)Ask questions and never give up in holding government accountable; 2) Be vigilant to abuses of power by those in authority; and, 3) Protect people and or victims who are willing to speak out or report abuse or misconduct.

Kudos to the SR and the people who wrote the Governor or signed the Petition; prayers and support for Vitte's victims.

ContraryAnn

Thanks, you've inspired me.

Have you read Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus before the US Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of the Ohio Elections Commission and Free Speech? The High Court took oral arguments Wednesday and is expected to rule by June on the issue of Prior Censorship and the power of the OEC.

Babo

I read the brief and case decision in the Sixth Circuit and Briefs before the SCOTUS because the case is directly relevant to other more egregious cases of prior restraints and censorship through use of criminal statutes by prosecutors, judges and politicians to silence critics of law enforcement and the justice system in Ohio. I await the decision as the decision along with US. v. Alvarez can then be used to invalidate these criminal statutes in Ohio.

In fact opinions in cases challenging these criminal statutes have been suppressed by the US Sixth Circuit and not reported. So not only is there censorship by abuse of the criminal code to silence critics of Law enforcement and the judiciary, the judiciary itself is silencing reports of the censorship by refusal to publish decisions in direct violation of Congress.

There's an obscure blog out of Medina County that claims prosecutors have boasted that they have the ability to control case outcomes all the way to the US Sixth Circuit. US Sixth Circuit Chief Judge Alice Batchelder resides in Medina.

ContraryAnn

The justices may only decide SBAL has a right to pursue the case and judge its constitutionality.

Sitting in the OEC offices last week with the full Commission present the day after the Court heard arguments, it was apparent there is concern the OEC will lose much of its power to prevent any candidate from saying anything in the pursuit of election or defeating another. The commissioners were concerned by Ohio Solicitor General Murphy's comments defending the law while Attorney General Mike DeWine opposes the law.
Justice Breyer said "Why can't a person say, you know, there are things I want to say politically, the Constitution says the state does not have the right to abridge my speech, and I intend to say them.

"And if I say them," the Justice continued, "there is a serios risk that I will be had up before a commission and I could be fined.

"What's the harm?" he concluded.

"I can't speak; that's the harm."

And then a panel of the Commission dismissed a complaint and sent the case to the full Commission to judge if the complainant's action was 'frivolous' and asked for a fine that could be up to $5,000."

Free Speech, it seems, isn't.

JERRY from SANDUSKY

It's only a tip of the iceberg at what happens with the State Highway Patrol sheriff departments and city police.

SamAdams

If you or I had done things like Vitte is accused of, we'd have been tried and jailed. And yet when a law enforcement officer does those things, the very men and women who'd arrest US don't do anything! While I'm delighted they've finally taken some steps in the right direction, it's shameful that they didn't do it sooner.

Babo is right when she says we have to "never give up in holding the government accountable." I just find it reprehensible that we HAVE to complain (repeatedly), protest (repeatedly), demand (repeatedly), and never, never, EVER take our eyes off officials just to ensure they do the right thing!

observer1

You are so right. Can you imagine coming home to find a police or sheriff's cruiser waiting for you and then taking off leading to a chase? They would drag you out of your car and beat you senseless. Why this guy got a free pass for so long mystifies me.

Great job Register!

worddrow811

I think it's called the blue code of silence.

Truth2u

OR SHOT over 135 times like the black couple in Cleveland were for fleeing! Maybe that would have been good in this particular situation, darn pervert! I personally hope Vitte does a Castro solution.

Babo

Here's another case that needs to be scrutinized as it involves the alleged abuse of office by State Rep Redfern and Visiting Judge Dale Crawford is assigned the case in Ottawa County Common Pleas Court.

http://www.thenews-messenger.com...

The above case involves an alleged burglary at Redfern's former Catawba Island home. Alexander Reitzel is the defendant and his attorney is questioning the integrity of the videotape Redfern provided to law enforcement as well as the trumped up nature of the charges.

Redfern forced Ottawa County Judge Bruce Winters off the case by raising the fact that Redfern as State Democratic Chair did not endorse Winters the incumbent Democratic Judge but endorsed a friend of his Lorraine Croy.

Croy was fired by Judge Winters and later hired by Stierwalt. She is the assistant Sandusky County prosecutor who allegedly initially reviewed the Vitte case for Stierwalt and claimed there was nothing to present to the grand jury.

Judge Winters is now running as an independent for judge probably because with the State Democratic chairman backing his opponent he had little chance in the Democratic primary.

So what would cause Redfern to dislike Judge Winters so much that he would endorse a friend of his who appears weak on child sexual misconduct cases over an incumbent Democratic judge in an effort to force him off the bench?

Could it be the criminal record of Chris Redfern's nephew Zachary Redfern, the son of his brother Peter Redfern in Ottawa County Common Pleas Court and the ongoing criminal problems with Chris Redfern's ex sister in law Anne Goode Peter Redfern's ex wife and mother of the nephew? http://198.101.52.132/cgi-bin/cd...

The Toledo Blade reported that Anne Goode was sentenced to 90 days in jail for conveying drugs into the Toledo Correctional Institution to her son. She is also bound over for indictment in Ottawa County for having a weapon under disability as she is a convicted felon. She got in a fight with someone and allegedly pulled a rifle

Her son Zachary Redfern was in TCI on a 6 years prison sentence for Burglary and other crimes (see link above) and has a long prior record of drug problems and robberies here and in Texas. He has since been moved from TCI to an even tougher prison since the drug smuggling. Judge Winters gave him lots of chances but finally had enough and sentenced him to prison for six years for burglary in 2012.

Bringing it full circle, his father Peter Redfern was alleged to have molested a teen male family friend back in the early 2000's and to be involve in drug activity but nothing ever came of it allegedly due to Chris Redfern's political influence. Lorraine Croy's husband Kelly Croy was an assistant principal at the school of the alleged victim and complaints were made to the school and to County prosecutor Mark Mulligan who employed Lorrain Croy as an assistant prosecutor at the time.

worddrow811

could anne goode be contrary ann??? just asking.

Babo

Doubtful as she is in jail and does not have access to the internet.

Julie R.

"Oh what a terrible web we weave when first we practice to deceive."

DickTracey

Something sure as he11 stinks in Ottawa County, and it ain't dead fish!!

It's the stench from the good 'ole democrat boys!

This Redfern case infuriates me! The democrat Redfern, calls a Democrat sheriff, and gets the puppet democrat Mulligan to indict in days!

Apparently the 82 year old lady, that got ripped off for over $200,000 is a Republican!! Mulligan has not answered her calls, or ever even interviewed her.

This poor neighbor kid of Refern is going to have a felony on his record, before he graduates! There was absolutely NO DAMAGE done to Redferns property!

The story is in the print edition of the Register, and Mulligan and Redfern have already changed their stories!

DeBacco tried to subpoena the Good Ole Boys phone records but got shot down, by Crawford.

Do not back down DeBacco!! Give 'em he!!

ContraryAnn

While you're at it, how about the issue of Judge Brad Smith in Sandusky County Probate/Juvenile who is allegedly defying an order of the Ohio Supreme Court.
You can read about it in the N-M. It involves custody, an Arizona Court, a hotly contested Judge Race in the Sandusky Primary.
And, you might check into all the probate and juvenile records sitting in a hallway in the Court House completely open to the public.
Or probably not....

ContraryAnn

Is this the Redfern brother who is running for state representative elsewhere as a Republican?

Babo

His brother's name is Peter Redfern. Peter Redfern is the father of Zachary Redfern.

holysee

I'm certain that Mr. Vitte has a job opening available to him at a nearby jail or sheriff's department.

shoreline dude

INMATE!!!

xtensionofme

I'll add my "it's about time" to those already here - that man has NO business wearing a badge, much less a gun!

JMOP

I'll hand it to ya Register. You kept the pressure on, and ya got results.

Hey, it's Friday, why not take the office out for a celebratory drink and dine for a job well done.

Hopperthe2nd

Thank you very much SR. I live in Fremont and beg you to keep up the investigations in our county. I'm not saying the local paper is remiss but it seems Gannett has them ham-stringed as far as local reporting goes. I know the local NM staff and they are hard working and dedicated, but can only do so much.
As an aside how much you want to to bet that the local voting populace will return the same miscreants to office when the time comes?

sandtown born a...

Let's hope with the pressure SR has put on the corrupt law enforcement , coroners, clerk of courts,and judges ( using the term loosely) in Sandusky county, things change for the better with voting and legal charges against said corrupt officials. Of course there not all bad but the rotten ones makes them all look that way.
JUSTICE FOR SANDUSKY COUNTY is a page someone should start, since it seems far beyond the big stories brought to light.
Keep the pressure on Matt and SR!!!!!!

he said she said

'Vitte could argue he was teaching the boy to masturbate'.

"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".

According to Freud, it is during the phallic stage of psychosexual development around the age of four that a child's sexual energy is focused on their genitals. It is in this time, the phallic stage, that children learn to masturbate (Friedman, 2013).

Friedman, H. S. (2013). Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research Fifth Edition. In H. S. Friedman, Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research Fifth Edition. Boston: Pearson Learning Solutions.

thinkagain

I’m sure the Liberal Democrats will offer him a job as their poster child. After all, sexual deviancy is the liberal way.

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