Former UN inspector due in court in sex case

AP News
Posted: Oct 26, 2011 3:04 AM
Former UN inspector due in court in sex case

A former U.N. weapons inspector convicted in an online sex sting is scheduled to appear in a northeastern Pennsylvania courtroom on Wednesday and may learn his sentence.

Scott Ritter, 50, of Delmar, N.Y., exchanged explicit messages with a detective posing as a 15-year-old girl, then performed a sex act on himself in front of a webcam. He testified in his own defense at his April trial that he believed the person he met in a Yahoo chat room in 2009 was an adult acting out her own fantasy.

A Monroe County jury convicted Ritter on six counts, including unlawful contact with a minor.

Ritter is expected to ask for a new trial Wednesday, basing his request on an appeals court ruling in New York that records from previous incidents in that state should not have been unsealed and given to prosecutors in Pennsylvania to be used at his trial.

The Monroe County district attorney's office said the New York ruling has no bearing on Ritter's conviction and wants him sentenced immediately.

Ritter was one of the U.N.'s chief weapons inspectors in Iraq from 1991 to 1998. He resigned after accusing the United States and the U.N. of failing to get tough with Saddam Hussein. Later, he said that Iraq had destroyed its weapons of mass destruction, and he became a vocal critic of the U.S. invasion.

Ritter was charged in New York a decade ago with trying to lure an undercover police officer posing as a 16-year-old girl to a restaurant. The charges were later dropped, and he said in 2003 that the case was designed to silence his war criticism.

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