Claim: “I went to prison for three years because of what I believe in.”
Who said it: Scott Ritter, the disgraced U.N. weapons inspector, anti-war zealot, and Russian propagandist who was convicted of multiple sex crimes in 2011 after exposing himself on a web camera while chatting with an undercover police officer who repeatedly identified himself as a 15-year-old girl.
Context: The former inmate made these comments while promoting his new book in Russia, where he is warmly received thanks to his enthusiastic support for the invasion of Ukraine. Ritter was briefly suspended from Twitter last year for calling President Joe Biden a “war criminal” and accusing Ukrainian authorities of committing mass murder against their own citizens.
In 2001, Ritter was charged with attempted endangerment of the welfare of child for trying to arrange a meeting with an undercover police officer posing as a 16-year-old girl.
Analysis: Ritter definitely spent three years in prison for sex crimes and testified in court that he believed his actions were noble. Ritter said he didn’t think the person to whom he exposed himself was actually 15 years old, but was in fact an adult acting out some sick (but technically legal) fantasy.