|New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com|
Ex-UN aide may face federal sex rap
By JOE MAHONEY
DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF
Sunday, January 26th, 2003
ALBANY - Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, snared two years ago in an Internet sex sting, now may face a federal probe in the case.
Acting on a request from local federal prosecutors, state Supreme Court Justice Joseph Teresi has directed that sealed Ritter case files be turned over to the feds, officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Ritter, a vocal opponent of President Bush's Iraqi war preparations, was arrested by police in Colonie, an Albany suburb, in June 2001 on a misdemeanor charge of endangering an underage girl.
Sources familiar with the case said Ritter, now 41, used the Internet handle "onexhibition" as he arranged a meeting with the teen - actually an undercover cop - and proposed that she watch him masturbate.
The case was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal, meaning that if he stayed out of trouble for six months, the charges would be erased and the case sealed.
However, sources familiar with the case said the feds still could prosecute Ritter under federal law for allegedly trying to lure a minor into sexual activity.
Ritter has confirmed the arrest but said that news reports about it surfaced in an attempt to silence his opposition to a war with Iraq. He has refused to discuss details of the case.
Ritter and his attorney, Norah Murphy, did not return phone calls.
Neither Teresi - who presided over the trial of four New York City cops acquitted in 2000 in the fatal police shooting of Amadou Diallo in the Bronx in February 1999 - nor federal prosecutors could be reached for comment.
"I'd like nothing more than to be a vocal opponent to this war, to being an effective voice to the anti-war movement," Ritter told Schenectady TV station WRGB after the scandal surfaced.