If it weren’t for the costume in which Ohio resident Ricky Vitte, Jr. dresses each day, he would probably be facing felony child sex abuse charges and the prospect of being designated a violent sexual offender for life.
To paraphrase one of Cicero’s speeches denouncing Marcus Antony, Vitte – an Ohio State Trooper in good standing — has done things civilized people find difficult to discuss in public. On at least two occasions, Vitte invited a pre-teen boy to watch a pornographic film and join him in masturbating.
Vitte admitted to this conduct after his estranged wife, who is seeking custody of the couple’s five children, filed a complaint with Sandusky County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean O’Connell. Vitte’s explanation was that “he did not want [the child] to feel pressured on feeling the need to have sex with someone, when he can fix those needs by masturbating to porn,” according to O’Connell’s report.
Vitte’s self-characterization as a caring and progressive step-parent is difficult to reconcile with the fact that five years earlier he beat his then-girlfriend’s 5-year-old son for wetting the bed, then head-butted the mother when she intervened.
A report filed by the sheriff’s office described how the child’s buttocks had been left bruised and bleeding. Vitte’s own children have alleged to investigators that he is prone to paroxysms of violent rage in which he has threatened and shoved them and their mother. Over the past ten years, Vitte has been convicted of child endangerment and been hit with multiple protection orders.
In late 2013, reports the Sandusky Register, when Deputy O’Connell and social workers “tried to interview Vitte about the most recent allegation, he sped away from his home in his Ohio State Highway Patrol cruiser.” After a short pursuit, Vitte stopped and was briefly questioned by O’Connell about the sexual misconduct allegations.
On January 10, Sandusky County Prosecutor Tom Stierwalt announced that he wouldn’t be pursuing child sex abuse charges against Vitte, citing as his reason the fact that the trooper “might have presented a defense that justified” his conduct – which is, to say no more, an odd rationale. Nor did Stierwalt charge Vitte for attempting to evade a law enforcement officer, an act that has been treated as grounds for summary execution in Ohio.
Rather than going to prison, Ricky “Short-Eyes” – an OHP sergeant whose father was also a State Trooper – remains at large as a state-licensed dispenser of official violence. He continues to pull down a tax victim-provided salary of $83,000 a year, which is roughly double the average amount earned by the typical Ohio resident employed in the productive sector.1:05 pm on January 22, 2014 Email William Norman Grigg