In an about-face, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said it would not investigate claims that Trooper Ricky Vitte Jr. watched pornography with the 12-year-old and masturbated in the same room as the boy to help teach him about sex, reported the Sandusky Register.
The trooper’s wife, who has taken out a protective order against Vitte, said her husband had admitted to masturbating twice with the boy five years ago.
Vitte claimed he and the boy could not see each other because of a dresser in between them.
Prosecutors announced last month they would not charge Vitte, who was charged 10 years ago with domestic violence after spanking his then-girlfriend’s 5-year-old son until his buttocks bled to punish the boy for wetting the bed.
A public affairs commander said Friday that the highway patrol was continuing to look into the claims and the investigations completed by the Sandusky County sheriff’s office and the Department of Family Services.
Other representatives dodged questions about the investigation until Tuesday, when a top official said the highway patrol knew nothing about the allegations against Vitte.
“No complaint or allegation of misconduct concerning Trooper Vitte has been received by the Ohio State Highway Patrol,” said Joseph Andrews, communications director for the Ohio Department of Public Safety, which oversees the highway patrol. “No criminal charges have been filed in the case that precipitated the placement of Trooper Vitte on administrative duty.”
Vitte was briefly placed on administrative leave in November while the case was investigated.
Andrews said previous statements about a highway patrol investigation of Vitte were inaccurate, saying authorities there had never received any information to prompt such an investigation.
Sandusky County Prosecutor Tom Stierwalt declined to bring the case before a grand jury, arguing that Vitte could have provided an explanation to justify his actions with the boy.
The prosecutor also has refused to provide details about his conversations with Vitte or his attorney, who has worked on another case with the deputy who investigated the claims against the trooper.
That sheriff’s deputy never interviewed Vitte, who fled in his state-owned cruiser when the investigator came to his house to discuss the allegations.
Vitte refused to talk to the deputy after the pursuit ended.
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