Chesterton Tribune

Criminal deviate conduct and sexual battery charges against Valpo man dismissed

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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 interest.”




Posted 6/14/2011