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article imageFormer UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter convicted in sex case

By Leo Reyes     Apr 15, 2011 in Crime
A former UN weapons inspector who was charged for sexual contact with a minor was found guilty by the jury Thursday after attending trial on the case with his family last Tuesday in Pennsylvania
"Prosecutors said on Tuesday that Scott Ritter, an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq, had a sexually graphic online chat in 2009 with an undercover police officer posing as a 15-year-old girl," BBC News reports.
According to Police Officer Ryan Venneman, the former UN weapons inspector initiated the conversation through a Yahoo chat room in February 2009.
In front of a web camera, Mr. Ritter allegedly performed a sex act on himself but the officer told him he was actually a 15-year-old girl whose name is Emily.
Ritter denied the charges saying he did not know he was talking to a minor in Tuesday's hearing but the jury on Thursday decided the case in favor of the prosecution.
"The jury reached the right decision," Assistant District Attorney Michael Rakaczewski said after the verdict. "They saw the case for what it is and the defendant for what he is and what he did."
"For nearly 30 minutes, the jury of seven women and five men, lawyers and Monroe County Common Pleas Judge Jennifer Sibum watched silently as a large-screen TV showed images of Ritter masturbating, initially wearing a shirt, but eventually naked," Reuters reports.
Kohlman acknowledged in his closing argument that jurors were likely "troubled and offended" by the graphic chat and video of Ritter that prosecutors played, but said they were required to put aside their personal distaste because "this is not a referendum on whether anybody in the courtroom approves of adult chat rooms."
Sentencing is set for next month.
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