No second opinion

Lucas County prosecutor’s office says Stierwalt never asked for a review in Vitte case
Register
May 3, 2014

 

Sandusky County prosecutor Tom Stierwalt says he did it; the Lucas County prosecutor office says he didn’t. 

Stierwalt told Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. K.E. Ward in February that he sent the Lucas County prosecutor’s office a request for a “second opinion” on whether Patrol Sgt. Ricky Vitte should be charged with a crime after allegations surfaced last year he showed porn to a 12-year-old boy and masturbated with him on two occasions. 

He told Ward he sent Lucas County a copy of the investigation and the video Vitte allegedly showed the boy. Stierwalt later told Ward they said Vitte should not be charged. 

But Lucas County has no record Stierwalt ever contacted the office, and it never offered any recommendation on the Vitte investigation. 

“There are no documents from or to Sandusky County Prosecutor Tom Stierwalt or anyone else from his office relating to the prosecution of (Vitte),” assistant Lucas County prosecutor Karlene Henderson told the Register. 

Stierwalt did not respond to a request Friday seeking clarification of the conflicting information. 

In January, Stierwalt dropped the investigation of Vitte, saying he didn’t believe he could get a conviction because Vitte could argue he was teaching the boy to masturbate. The decision created a firestorm of criticism after the Register first reported the information, and Stierwalt refused to clarify or expand his explanation why he dropped the investigation. 

But Stierwalt also told Ward he decided to leave it up to the alleged victim, who is now 18, whether he should take evidence to a grand jury despite the recommendation he said he got from from Lucas County that no charges be filed. Stierwalt said he gave the victim a week to “render a decision,” according to Ward’s report. 

The victim, who was 12 when the alleged incidents occurred, told Stierwalt he had concerns for other children and about Vitte’s violent temper, according to reports, and he wanted to go forward. 

Vitte was indicted April 2 on two charges of disseminating matter harmful to a juvenile.

The Patrol fired Vitte three weeks later, at the conclusion of Ward’s investigation, for acts “unbecoming” an officer and for making the Patrol look bad.

The termination was an about-face. 

In January, the Patrol did not plan to take any action concerning the boy’s complaint, returning his service weapon to him and restoring Vitte to full-duty when Stierwalt dropped the local investigation.

Dean Henry, a Tiffin defense attorney who also works as a special prosecutor in Stierwalt’s office, told the Register in January that Vitte denied all the allegations and is completely innocent. Henry represented Vitte in a past incident when Vitte was charged with domestic violence.

Henry also said he was representing Vitte this time and that he’d talked with Stierwalt about the investigation before Stierwalt closed it down.

The only public comments Stierwalt made about his earlier decision to drop the investigation were during a phone call an unknown person made to him Jan. 23.

“You’re not pressing charges, right?” the caller, who was impersonating Vitte, asked Stierwalt.

“Didn’t seem like there was an appropriate charge, that’s right,” Stierwalt replied.

Hello, Tom? Is that you? (recorded call includes objectionable language)

The recorded conversation was widely distributed on the Internet and their conversation suggests Vitte and Stierwalt might be familiar and friendly with each other. Stierwalt believed the caller was Vitte, and the two commiserated about the fallout after the Register reported the Vitte allegations. Stierwalt said he’d gotten fierce feedback from the community criticizing his decision.

“I’ve been called a FOB, son of (expletive), (expletive), (expletive),” Stierwalt said. “I get emails and I get voicemails for that kind of stuff. I’m a little tired of it, too.”

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Comments

SeenSome

So..he just flat out lied about it????

ContraryAnn

From the Sandusky Register:

"Original post, 12:01 p.m. May 1, 2014

Headline: Bates has Stierwalt's back, Lucas County prosecutor's office says Vitte should not have been charged

Sandusky County Prosecutor Tom Stierwalt had it right the first time.

Ohio Patrol Sgt. Ricky Vitte Jr. should not have been charged, according to the Lucas County Prosecutor's Office, after allegations surfaced he showed pornography to a boy and masturbated with him.

Stierwalt sent the video Vitte allegedly showed the boy to the sex crimes unit in Prosecutor Julia Bates' office in February and asked for a "second opinion" whether he should seek a charge of disseminating matter harmful to a juvenile.

The unit "recommended that no charges be filed against Vitte," according to an internal report from the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Bates did not respond to inquiries from the Register.....

Current story is damage control? Rushed to press BEFORE having all the fact in place? hmmmmmmmmmmm

vcreed123

I'm ashamed that I'm even giving you these few seconds of my life by responding but, you're an idiot.

Babo

Hardly, the Register had every right to be able to rely upon public records from an Ohio Highway Patrol internal investigation.

Now the only question that remains is who is lying: Stierwalt or Bates?

Stierwalt has motive to lie to encourage the Ohio Highway Patrol not to fire Vitte pending the outcome of the criminal case to help keep peace with Vitte and his allies in law enforcement and government who share his preferences for violence and abuse.

On the other hand, Bates has reason to lie because she can't afford her office receiving any more negative publicity concerning child sexual abuse and cover ups in view of the enormous problem with child trafficking in Toledo and the office's lack of prosecution of sex abuse cases involving the Toledo Diocese under her and her mentor.

Actually, I think Bates may be lying as there is a lot of detail in the OHP report concerning what Stierwalt told them and Stierwalt as an attorney would know that it would be insane to lie about these details given the press coverage of the case.

In any event there has to be some sort of paper trail as attorneys account for their time and typically log all phone conversations especially log distance calls. Also, according to Stierwalt there was a transfer of a case file and evidence to Lucas County and there would have to be a record of chain of custody.

Go get them SR.

DickTracey

Stierwalt: “I’ve been called a FOB, son of (expletive), (expletive), (expletive),” Stierwalt said. “I get emails and I get voicemails for that kind of stuff. I’m a little tired of it, too.”

Looks like now we can add LIAR, to the list of names he has rightfully earned.

Little Giant

Pretty clear who is lying here. Lucas County had nothing to gain from lying about it. Tom has been less than forthcoming in a number of aspects of this situation.

ContraryAnn

Original post, 12:01 p.m. May 1, 2014

Headline: Bates has Stierwalt's back, Lucas County prosecutor's office says Vitte should not have been charged

Sandusky County Prosecutor Tom Stierwalt had it right the first time.

Ohio Patrol Sgt. Ricky Vitte Jr. should not have been charged, according to the Lucas County Prosecutor's Office, after allegations surfaced he showed pornography to a boy and masturbated with him.

Stierwalt sent the video Vitte allegedly showed the boy to the sex crimes unit in Prosecutor Julia Bates' office in February and asked for a "second opinion" whether he should seek a charge of disseminating matter harmful to a juvenile.

The unit "recommended that no charges be filed against Vitte," according to an internal report from the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Bates did not respond to inquiries from the Register...."

Whaaat? The Register rushed into print with a story without verifying the basic facts?

OakieHarbor

troll!

DickTracey

This is so entertaining to watch play out. So, Lucas Coutny prosecutors office gets wind of the story in the Register. Than they sit down and have to figure out a game plan, and how they are going to respond. The political fall out is a mess. Your damned if you do and damned if you don't!

The RATS are jumping off Vitte's sinking ship! Haha, who's next?

Blue.Streaker

Lucas County did NOT say Stierwalt lied about it. They did not deny that what Stierwalt said is true. They said “There are no documents from or to Sandusky County Prosecutor Tom Stierwalt or anyone else from his office relating to the prosecution of (Vitte).”

I can certainly imagine a scenario in which Stierwalt requests a second opinion, but the Lucas County Assistant Stierwalt contacts says "Sure, but it will be off the record, OK?"

Is there anything wrong with that (other than it fails to line up with your preconceptions?)

Matt Westerhold

Thanks Blue Streaker. It doesn't seem it can be both "off the record" in the investigation and "on the record" in the Patrol's report. Also, things that are "off the record," it seems, would be just that — something that does not exist and cannot be confirmed. In other words, it's information that would appear to have no value. 

ContraryAnn

REALLY MATT? In all your vast experience you never took information 'off the record' and then used to get the same information from other sources and then put it "on the record" without naming the original source?
As I read the story, the Patrol decided to put on the record what Stierwalt told them as part of an ongoing investigation.
And the SR relied on the Patrol for its first story BEFORE it had all the facts.

Blue.Streaker

Matt: "It doesn't seem it can be both "off the record" in the investigation and "on the record" in the Patrol's report."

Me: Oh? And just why not? Your preconceptions are getting the best of you.

vcreed123

What exactly are you two clowns trying to insinuate??? I really don't see any type of plausible argument or point from either bluestreaker or Ann, please explain you're points??

Babo

In order to properly review the case there would have to be a transfer of case files and evidence including the video tape. That would require records for chain of custody.

Also, every attorney keeps notes of conversations and logs their phone calls. Given that two government offices were allegedly speaking to one another via long distance calls there has to be either phone logs or cell records to support Stierwalt's story. The absence of any records would demonstrate he is lying.

Blue.Streaker

Scenario:
Stierwalt calls Lucas County Prosecutor's Office, asks for the sex crimes unit, and says I'm trying to decide how to handle a case and I'd appreciate your input. The assistant prosecutor he talks to says come up anytime and we'll be glad to help. A few days later Stierwalt drives the 30 miles to Toledo, takes his file, goes to the Assistant's office, and they discuss the case, including looking at the evidence. Whatever is said is verbal, no record is made, and Stierwalt drives back to Fremont.

This is the way things happen in the real world. Why is this so difficult to understand?

Matt Westerhold

Not sure why you're having such a difficult time understanding it, Blue Streaker, but the scenario you describe isn't at all how it is described in the Patrol's report. The Patrol's report states Stierwalt told the investigator he sent the video and the report of the local investigation to the LCPO and waited several weeks for a response. The problem with using information that isn't documented is that people can re-state that information differently from how it happened for their own purposes similar to the way you have done here.

Babo

@ Blue Streaker:

What you describe may be how things occur in a poorly run government legal office but it is assuredly not how lawyers conduct themselves in professional offices. Every competent lawyer keeps track of their time, expenses and produces case notes.

Even under your ridiculous scenario, Stierwalt would have a travel log for the time and mileage he spent driving to Toledo on this particular case. Further, as this is a criminal case and there is evidence involved there would be a chain of custody on the tape and Lucas County would have to acknowledge having possession of that tape at some point in time.

Now it's entirely possible that Lucas County is disingenuously responding to the SR by narrowly construing the public records request so as to mislead the public. But why would any prosecutor who is supposed to represent the people seek to mislead a newspaper about an alleged sex crime investigation? It seems to me they should be forthcoming unless they have some political reason to be less than honest.

Babo

Looks to me like Mr. Stierwalt allegedly falsified an official report to a law enforcement agency in an effort to obstruct an official investigation.

That would be falsification and obstruction of justice if those who are not above the law committed the same acts.

However, it is possible that Bates office is not being forthcoming.

Also, does anyone else think it strange that Stierwalt has a copy of the porn video 5 years after the alleged act? Who gave it to him?

Lastly, yesterday there was an article in the Toledo Blade Section B page 3 entitled "Tiffin parks director charged with felon" by Vanessa McCray.

The article reports that former Tiffin Parks an Recreation Director Steven Dryfuse 45 was indicted by the Seneca County Grand Jury for a fourth degree felony charge which stems from alleged sexual contact between October 4, 2001 to April 2, 2002 with a male who was then in his early teens according to Jill Del Greco spokesman for the Ohio Attorney General's Office which is handling the prosecution.

"Mr Dreyfuse will enter a not guilty plea when he is arraigned May 8, his attorney DEAN HENRY, said. (emphasis added)."

"An allegation of child abuse was reported to Tiffin police, who in December asked Ohio BCI to investigate. Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz, said involving BCI avoided a potential conflict of interest with investigating a city employee. Mr Dryfuse was hired by the city in May 2000."

"The Mayor and city administrator met Feb 14 and 17 with a BCI agent and learned of evidence gleaned in the investigation. Along with the 'nature of the job duties of the parks and recreation director position,' that evidence prompted Mr. Dreyfuse's firing February 17, according to a statement issued by Mayor Montz."

"MR. HENRY SAID HE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT PROMPTED THE ALLEGATIONS TO BE REPORTED YEARS LATER" (emphasis added).

"Conviction of gross sexual imposition is punishable by incarceration between six and 18 months and a fine of up to $5,000."

End of article.

This story again confirms allegations made back in 2001 that Dean Henry is unfit to be a special prosecutor as his career has been dedicated to defending politically connected abusers of women and children. It also demonstrates that victims of abuse find it difficult to come forward and may wait until they are adults to disclose abuse and are aware of those who will protect them. Maybe the Register's efforts in exposing Vitte and the courage of his victim encouraged this now twenty something young man to come forward.

It's also interesting that BCI and the AG were called in immediately on the case due to a conflict of interest, unlike Sandusky County that kept the Vitte case in house while using Vitte's attorney Dean Henry as a special prosecutor.

However, there still is the potential for a cover up by the AG's office, as the former Seneca County prosecutor Ken Egbert who allegedly worked closely with Dean Henry for years in under prosecuting cases involving law enforcement and public official misconduct is now employed as a special prosecutor in the AG's Toledo office. If he is the special prosecutor assigned this case, the victim does not have a particularly dedicated victims' advocate in my opinion.

Gardenman

Look clear to me......Stierwalt lied. There must be procedures in place in the State of Ohio for this kind of violation up to and including removal from office.

This whole Sandusky County is like Cuyahoga County was a few years ago. It may well be time to clean house of lots of these folks from county government and get rid of folks unable to do the job.

ContraryAnn

Sandusky Register

Original post, 12:01 p.m. May 1, 2014

Headline: Bates has Stierwalt's back, Lucas County prosecutor's office says Vitte should not have been charged

Sandusky County Prosecutor Tom Stierwalt had it right the first time.

Ohio Patrol Sgt. Ricky Vitte Jr. should not have been charged, according to the Lucas County Prosecutor's Office, after allegations surfaced he showed pornography to a boy and masturbated with him.

Stierwalt sent the video Vitte allegedly showed the boy to the sex crimes unit in Prosecutor Julia Bates' office in February and asked for a "second opinion" whether he should seek a charge of disseminating matter harmful to a juvenile.

The unit "recommended that no charges be filed against Vitte," according to an internal report from the Ohio Highway Patrol.

BATES DID NOT RESPOND TO INQUIRIES FROM THE REGISTER..."

HMMM. The Register ran a story accrediting action to the Lucas County Prosecutor BEFORE affirming from the SOURCE that the Lucas County Prosecutor took the reported action?

PROBLEM: Readers who see only the first story can rightfully assume it is ACCURATE.

vcreed123

All this story does is validate how crooked Stierwalt and the other cronies are, every one of them should be removed from there position, luckily the pedophile already has been.

Matt Westerhold

Thanks Contrary Ann. You've often referred to yourself as a journalist, but there are obviously things about the profession you don't understand. First, perhaps, is that journalists don't make anonymous comments at websites. You might also re-read the article you are criticizing carefully. The "accrediting" you refer to was done in the Patrol's report, as the news story states. The Lucas County prosecutor's office was fully informed what Stierwalt had said and was fulliy aware of the story deadline. When the LCPO did respond later, the news article was properly updated. You and Blue Streaker also don't have an understanding of what "off the record" means when it involves government investigations, and when journalists receive "off the record" information they later verify. There's a huge difference between the two. 

OakieHarbor

Matt the commentator is simply a troll, repeating the same cr@p. the more you repeat the same ole lies the easier it is to actually believe them as fact!
The redundancy of their posts says it all.

mamaC

** Calling ALL Our Supporter's **

We need 12 Supporter's for each Time slot.
When: May 6th Tuesday through May 9th Friday ( if you can't do everyday we understand we just need Support on the times you can)
Times needed : 8am til 9am and 3pm til 5pm
Where: Sandusky County Court House ( 100 North Park Ave. Fremont, Ohio)

Please join Us to show Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine & his office that we want them to STAND UP FOR JUSTICE & ACCOUNTIBILITY in Sandusky County!!

It is sad we even have to organize an event like this but, Mike DeWine has shown us he is NOT going to do anything to Help Ohio Families!
An example of that is Mike DeWine proved that the Limberios family was right in questioning Sandusky County Official's Failed them. The Limberios said from the beginning Jake did NOT commit Suicide. They were absolutely right and Mike DeWine investigation revealed that Jake's death was Accidental!! Still to this day the Coroner has NOT been made to change that ruling. Mike DeWine could of asked Judge Crawford to change that ruling and DIDN'T! Because the Limberios could sue the county and Mr. DeWine didn't want to open them up to litigation by doing this. Even though Mike & Shannon spent their life savings fighting for what they believed was true. Jake did not intend to take his life!
Yet, Mr. DeWine did nothing to make this right for them. That is not Helping Ohio Families! That is protecting County official's so they don't have to do something right ( for once) and pay the Limberios back their money after they failed to do their jobs properly the first 3 investigations they did into Jake's death!

Another point is Mike DeWine office used Dr. Michael Baden in Jake's case as their Expert witness and yet Craig Burdine case Dr. Baden has stated that Craig's death is a Homicide!! Yet Mike DeWine has not questioned or ask Dr. Baden about Craig's death. Why? Because Mike DeWine is not out to bring Justice or Accountability in Sandusky County! He is out to make Ohio Families spend their life savings and be put through years of hell and does Nothing! He has spent taxpayer's money and convenes grand juries and say sorry to the families that are truly the victims in the situations.

Please message us what day & Time Slot you can Support Us. We really look forward to seeing Sandusky County residences come on out and show us you support our efforts in helping you live in a community that you shouldn't fear. Time to stand United and Bring Change Supporter's!

This is about ALL the families involved. This comes from the J4JE FB page.

Truth2u

I regret all the times I voted for this pathetic little person. He's a pure RINO politician and his actions tell me he's manipulative to keep up the appearance that he might be capable of doing his duties. All he cares about is collection's for banks and taxes.

Blue.Streaker

RINO = Republican In Name Only, right?

Stierwalt is a Democrat.

Babo

He was referring to AG DeWine.

Lil DAB

C-Ann needs to get her head out of the sand and see what this prosecutor and cronies are pulling on the people in this county. And quit reposting the original article. Good grief, we read it the first time. It just makes you look narrow-minded. Something stinks from Sandusky County and now dragging in Lucas Cty to try to validate their behavior? Whether Bates is lying or Steirwalt is lying.....there is something very ugly being thrown at us and thank goodness the Register isn't afraid to get "ink on their hands." A story has to start somewhere and if it had NOT been reported to begin with, we wouldn't know what we know today.
The mouse (reported stories) has been dangled and the snakes are coming out of the hole!

whattheBucks

You can't fix stupid.... But you can at least not vote for stupid

mamaC

Please Sign & share this petition to stop the injustices that have occurred..
http://www.change.org/petitions/...

Ralph J.

I for one am getting tired of this crap! Bring in the Federal agents from Washington to do a thorough investigation. I would have a hard time trusting any in state Federal agent due to political connections. More Federal prisons might have to be built to house the crooks. Get a hold of Kaptur and Latta to start a Federal investigation.