Former U.N. Weapons Inspector Arrested in Underage Sex Sting

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Philadelphia, PA—Authorities say that a former United Nations official has been arrested on several charges related to an explicit online exchange, including indecent exposure, criminal solicitation, and corruption of minors.

Scott Ritter was a former United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq. In November, he was arrested for having sent sexual messages to an undercover police officer who was posing as a 15-year-old girl.

Officers from the Barrett Township, Philadelphia, Police Department issued a news release last week outlining the charges, which they say stem from an incident which took place in February 2009. According to an affidavit of probable cause, Ritter was logged into an online chat room using the handle “delmar4fun.” He claimed to be a 44-year-old man from Albany.

Ritter, who is actually 48 years old, lives in Delmar, New York, which is located in Albany County.

Meanwhile, Detective Ryan Venneman was posing as “Emily,” a 15-year-old girl from Poconos, Pennsylvania. Venneman began chatting with Ritter, telling him twice that “Emily” was underage, but Ritter nevertheless sent a link to his Web camera, then began describing how he wanted to have sex with her while masturbating on camera.

At one point, “delmar4fun” turned the camera off, telling “Emily” that he had not realized she was underage and that he did not want to get into any legal trouble. Later, however, he apparently was tempted again, because he sent the Web cam link one more time and again masturbated, said the affidavit.

Venneman revealed his identity as a police officer to “delmar4fun” during a subsequent phone call. Ritter identified himself as well.

On November 9, Ritter was arrested on a variety of charges, including indecent exposure, corruption of minors, criminal solicitation, possessing instruments of crime, unlawful contact with a minor, and criminal use of a communications facility. He is currently free on $25,000 unsecured bail.

Ritter had served for seven years, from 1991 to 1998, as the chief United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq. He argued publicly that Iraq had no significant weapons of mass destruction prior to the United States invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

He had previously been arrested twice, both times in 2001, in connection with similar police stings. He was charged only in the second incident, with a misdemeanor crime of “attempted endangerment of the welfare of a child,” but charges were later dropped and his record sealed, contingent upon Ritter’s staying above the law for a period of time. Ritter could face up to seven years in prison if convicted.

 

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