SOUTH SALT LAKE — A man with a history of sex offenses against children flashed a 5-year-old girl in a library, according to police and prosecutors.
Robert Peter Ritt, 72, of Provo, was charged in 3rd District Court with lewdness involving a child. The charge was elevated to a third-degree felony because Ritt has a prior offense.
According to court documents from Pennsylvania after a similar arrest in that state earlier this year, Ritt has more than 30 different aliases, three Social Security numbers, has been arrested in eight states and is a registered sex offender in Washington.
In his latest incident, on Nov. 2, Ritt is accused of exposing himself to a 5-year-old girl in a hallway at the Columbus Center, 2450 South 500 East. The center houses a public library and a charter school. The man ran from the building, but the incident was caught on surveillance video, said South Salt Lake police detective Gary Keller.
Video also recorded a man identified as Ritt in the building two more times the following day, Keller said. On Nov. 4, Ritt again returned to the center. This time, an employee spotted him and called police. Officers arrived before Ritt left and arrested him.
In March of 2005, he pleaded no contest to lewdness in 4th District Court in Spanish Fork for an incident in Orem. He was sentenced to probation, ordered to undergo a sex treatment program, and ordered not to be alone with any female under the age of 18, according to court records.
In May of this year, Ritt was arrested in Westmoreland County, Pa., for investigation of corruption of minors, indecent exposure and open lewdness, according to public records.
Charging documents state that Ritt exposed himself to an 8-year-old girl at a truck stop in South Huntingdon, Penn. When police in Pennsylvania interviewed, him, Ritt told them he, "has been arrested before for exposing himself and for other sex crimes." He said he had been arrested in New York, Oregon and Massachusetts, according to court records.
In 2011, in Jackson County Circuit Court in Oregon, Ritt was charged with failing to report as a sex offender.
Local authorities fear there could be other victims that have not stepped forward. Anyone with information can call police at 801-840-4000.
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