Vitte in court

Fired Ohio Patrol trooper arraigned in Sandusky County Common Pleas Court
Courtney Astolfi
May 6, 2014

The former Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper accused of masturbating with a boy and showing him porn pleaded not guilty Monday at his first court appearance.

Ricky Vitte Jr., 34, of Helena, attended his arraignment hearing in Sandusky County Common Pleas Court on a felony charge and a misdemeanor charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. He was flanked at the hearing by his attorney, Dean Henry, as well as a few family members.

After Vitte pleaded not guilty to both counts, Sandusky County prosecutor Tom Stierwalt asked that the former trooper be released on his own recognizance, citing his appearance at the arraignment as an indication he would appear at the next hearing.

A condition of that bond, however, requires Vitte to completely avoid contact with the victim, who is now 18 years old.

As part of the proceedings, Judge Barbara Ansted ran through a laundry list of activities Vitte cannot engage in, given his pending charges.

One of those — a rule barring him from possessing a firearm — prompted Ansted to mention Vitte’s former Highway Patrol job.

“You don’t need (one) for your job anymore?” Ansted asked.

Vitte replied with a succinct “no.”

After the hearing, Henry and Stierwalt hashed out the next hearing date and Vitte was briefly booked into the Sandusky County jail on his indictment.

His arraignment came after nearly four months of conflicting information from Sandusky County officials, Highway Patrol administrators and Ohio Director of Public Safety Jon Born’s office.

In November, Sandusky County deputies learned Vitte allegedly showed porn to a boy and masturbated with him on two occasions when the boy was still a preteen.

Stierwalt at first declined to charge Vitte because the former trooper could argue he was teaching the child about sex. Stierwalt presented the case in April to a grand jury, which handed down an indictment.  

The Patrol then fired Vitte for conduct unbecoming of an officer. 

During the Patrol’s investigation of the allegations, Stierwalt said he consulted with a Lucas County prosecutor, who agreed with Stierwalt’s initial decision not to press charges. In a recent public records request by the Register, however, Lucas County officials said they had no record of Stierwalt contacting their office.  

Comments

Stop It

"After Vitte pleaded not guilty to both counts, Sandusky County prosecutor Tom Stierwalt asked that the former trooper be released on his own recognizance, citing his appearance at the arraignment as an indication he would appear at the next hearing."

Is Stierwalt on the defendant's side? May as well put Henry back in charge of 'special' prosecutor and defense attorney at the same time.

"Your Honor, if I may, I will argue this case with me, myself and I. I promise to be completely impartial with myself and take full responsibility for his/my actions. "

shovelhead

Stierwalt would have never charged him....until he had to. A normal person would already be in jail.

Truth2u

I personally hope he does everyone a favor and takes the same cowardice escape as Castro from Cleveland did.

And WHY isn't our wonderful Attorney General investigating the State Patrol, Sheriff's Department and prosecutor for their possible collusion to cover this up...

Our family is voting today and we're leaving out the check next to DeWine. We will NEVER vote for him again, even if he ran against the devil himself since we all agree that we can't tell the differences between the two, their both liars and opportunists.

Truth2u

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained A duplicate post.

xtensionofme

He'll just find a job as a cop somewhere else where no one knows what he did - don't all pedophiles?

downthemiddle

Get a felony conviction on him. Then his union lawyer can't get him his job back.

Failing the conviction, his union lawyer has a good case.

downthemiddle

I know it's tough for union diehards to admit that his union is behind him... and will fight tooth and nail to get him his job back...

BUT IT IS.... just the way it's behind the union diehards when they screw up and should be fired.

queenjhb

The victim has to picture that face when he has to recall all of this for the rest of his life. So wrong.