Monday, January 20, 2003

Hot Chat Alert!
The NY Daily News reports UN's Ritter faced sex rap:
ALBANY - Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter was secretly prosecuted in Albany County in 2001 after he was snared in an Internet sex sting operation, law enforcement sources told the Daily News.

Ritter, who lives in the Albany suburb of Delmar, is now a high-profile critic of President Bush's war preparations.

He was arrested by Colonie Police in June 2001 on a misdemeanor charge after he allegedly had a sexual discussion on the Internet with an undercover investigator he thought was an underage girl, law enforcement sources disclosed on condition of anonymity.

The case was sealed, and Colonie officials declined to release the arrest records, explaining the matter was adjourned in local court in contemplation of dismissal.
Sounds Greek to me. Elucidation via NewsChannel 13 in Albany which has Ritter's attorney confirms arrest:
Now more information is coming to light about Ritter's past and a disturbing arrest. His attorney confirms he was arrested in 2001, but neither she nor police will discuss the details.

Colonie police cannot comment on whether or not they actually arrested Ritter on charges he solicited an underage girl over the Internet. They say this is because if an arrest was made, it was sealed during court proceedings.

"Well generally speaking, if during the course of a court proceeding the defense asks for a sealing order based on a plea to a very lesser charge, a court can issue that under the CPL 160-50, which basically seals the entire record from the point of its start to the point of its finish," Deputy Police Chief Steve Heider explained.
Both reports say that Ritter later struck a deal with Assistant District Attorney Cynthia Preiser that allowed the case to be dismissed and the records sealed. The reports also say Preiser was fired on Friday for failing to inform Albany County District Attorney Paul Clyne of the case.

However, NewsChannel 13 reported in June 2001 about an arrest of a 39-year-old William Ritter of Delmar on charges he tried to lure a 16-year-old girl he met on the Internet to a Burger King in Menands. According to police, the intent of that meeting was so that she could watch him perform sexual acts on himself.

At that time police said William Ritter was arrested before doing anything, but was facing multiple misdemeanor charges for trying to solicit an underage girl for sexual reasons.

Ritter's attorney, Norah Murphy, confirmed that he was arrested in the town of Colonie in June 2001.
Scott's legal name is William Scott Ritter Jr and gosh, the mugshot in the article sure looks like his photo over at Common Dreams.

Over on Free Republic they're having a contest on what sex chat screen name Scott used. There are lots of good entries, but I liked "FreeInspections" and "TheLoveSCUD".

UPDATE: News 10 in Albany is reporting:
Sources tell NEWS10 that Ritter contacted what he thought was a teenage girl on the internet for the purpose of a sexual interlude not once, but twice within a three month period back in 2001. Ritter also underwent court-ordered sex offender counseling from an Albany psychologist.
and NewsChannel 13 (WNYT) apparently has video tape of the Burger King bust. No Whopper jokes!

UPDATE II: The NY Post weighs in - see above.