Gettysburg professor arrested for arranging sex with underage “boy”
A Harrisburg man is arrested after he allegedly tried to set up a sexual encounter with an underage boy. Robert Viti, 68, of 1608 Penn Street, Harrisburg, is accused of arranging the meeting with what he thought was a 15 year-old boy, but was in fact an undercover agent in the Attorney General’s Child Predator Section. According to court documents, Viti had a Craigslist account titled “DAD 4 YOUNG COLLEGE AGE BOY.”
The undercover agent responded to the ad and communication between the two ensued.
Viti allegedly sent explicit text messages describing the graphic sexual acts that he wished to perform with the underage “boy.” In addition to the text messages, Viti allegedly sent a picture of himself and his exposed genitals.
Viti was arrested when he arrived at a predetermined location in Dauphin County to meet the minor, who, according to the criminal complaint, Viti planned to take back to his home.
According to the Gettysburg College website, Viti has been at Gettysburg College since 1971. He teaches all levels of French language, intermediate level literature and civilization classes, as well as a literary masterpieces course for majors. His area of specialization is Nineteenth-Century French literature. The college confirmed to FOX43 News that Viti retired from the school in 2011 and returned to teach classes last fall. A spokeswoman says Viti is no longer employed at the college.
Viti is charged with two counts of unlawful contact with a minor, one count of criminal attempt to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Viti was arraigned overnight and held at Dauphin County Prison after being unable to post $125,000 bail.
Reporting Internet Predators
Suspected Internet predators can be reported to the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section by calling the Child Predator Hotline at 1-800-385-1044. Anonymous tips can also be sent directly from a cell phone by texting PAKIDS + YOUR TIP to 847411 or through an online complaint form available by clicking here.
Internet safety tips are available on the “Operation Safe Surf” section of www.attorneygeneral.gov. Organizations interested in materials, speakers or presentations should contact the Attorney General’s Education and Outreach Unit at 1-800-525-7642 or via email at email@example.com.
NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect new information provided by Gettysburg College. The college’s human resources department originally told FOX43 Viti is still employed. A spokeswoman for the college contacted FOX43 later this afternoon to say Viti retired in 2011, returned to teach classes in fall 2013 and has not been employed by the college since then.