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Man facing 18 months in sex case

LISBON — A 39-year-old East Palestine man accused of attempting to record video of a 13-year-old girl with a hidden camera pleaded guilty to two charges in Common Pleas Court on Wednesday.

Patrick J. Vitko, West Street, pleaded guilty to attempted illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material, a third-degree felony, and voyeurism, a fifth-degree felony.

Assistant County Prosecutor Ryan Weikart and Vitko’s defense attorney, James Wise, both told Judge Megan Bickerton they had come to a stipulated agreement with both planning to ask for an 18-month prison term. The maximum prison sentence for those charges is a combined four years, along with a maximum $12,500 fine.

Additionally, Vitko will be required to register as a Tier I sexual offender. He will be required to register his address every 12 months for up to 15 years.

Sentencing was scheduled for Dec. 13.

Court records indicate on Nov. 17, 2017, Vitko invaded the teenage girl’s privacy by attempting to record her using a phone with a video recording function by hiding it in a bathroom. The location was one where the girl would be likely to be found undressed at some point. However, he was unsuccessful in obtaining the recording.

After the camera was found, Vitko had moved to Florida, and was not located until June of this year after he returned to the area to see his mother. He remains in custody at the county jail.

djohnson@mojonews.com

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