- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 22, 2003

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) A former U.N. weapons inspector was arrested during an Internet sex sting operation and was under investigation in a similar incident months before his arrest, according to reports published in the Daily Gazette of Schenectady.
The newspaper reported that Scott Ritter was arrested in June 2001 for purportedly trying to lure a 16-year-old girl he met on the Internet to a fast-food restaurant.
The underage girl turned out to be an undercover police officer posing online as a minor as part of a sting operation. Mr. Ritter was charged with attempted endangerment of a child. The case was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal and was subsequently sealed.
Two months before that arrest, Mr. Ritter purportedly tried to meet a 14-year-old girl he chatted with online and was instead met by police officers. The Albany Times Union reported that he was released without being charged.
The Gazette says an Albany prosecutor had agreed to have the charges dropped if Mr. Ritter stayed out of trouble for six months.
According to the media reports, the local district attorney was so angry at not being told of Mr. Ritter's arrest that he fired the prosecutor who adjudicated the case without notifying him.
When contacted about the reports, Mr. Ritter told the paper, "Sorry, you must have the wrong person."
The 41-year-old former Marine served as a weapons inspector in Iraq in the 1990s. He has been an outspoken critic of President Bush's plans for war against Iraq.
Yesterday, Mr. Ritter was calling on the Bush administration to seek peace instead of war.
That was his main message in San Diego, where he was discussing his book, "Endgame: Solving the Iraq Crisis."

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