Charges of criminal deviate conduct and sexual battery filed against a
Valparaiso man nearly two years ago have been dismissed, the Porter County
Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Cheryl Polarek told the Chesterton Tribune
Monday that the charges against Michael P. Ritchie have been dismissed
without prejudice, which means that they could potentially be re-filed
should circumstances warrant.
Ritchie had been working as the manager of a group home in Valparaiso for
the developmentally disabled when, in July 2009, the grandmother of a
20-year-old man with Down Syndrome reported her suspicions that Ritchie had
had sexual contact with her grandson.
Ritchie, for his part, denied touching the young man “in a sexual way,”
according to the probable cause affidavit.
On Monday, Polarek said that she dismissed the charges against Ritchie
because she did not want further to traumatize the alleged victim by
bringing the case to trial. “I believe it happened,” she said. “I believe we
could win the case. I just don’t believe it’s in the young man’s best