Dec 26, 2008 — A man who was once a giant in North Country politics pleaded guilty on Wednesday in federal court following a child-sex scandal that shocked the region. Former state Assemblyman Chris Ortloff pleaded guilty to a single count of online enticement of minors. The 61-year-old divided his time between Plattsburgh and Lake Placid after leaving the legislature in 2006. He was arrested in October 2008 following a sex-crime sting and subsequently resigned his appointed position with the state Parole Board.
State police say that Ortloff negotiated with a undercover officer whom he believed to be the mother of two girls, ages 11 and 12. Ortloff was arrested in an Colonie hotel room, after arranging to meet the children for a sexual liaison. According to a report in the Albany Times Union, Ortloff's plea could help him win a reduced sentence. Ortloff now faces between ten years and life in a state prison.
Details of the crime sent shock waves through the community and through the Republican Party. Ortloff represented the North Country's 110th Assembly District from 1986 until 2006. When Ortloff was arrested, he was equipped with sexual aids, including condoms and vibrators. He has been housed in a jail in Washington County. His sentencing appearance is scheduled for April 23. According to the Plattsburgh Press-Republican, Ortloff has been released into home confinement until his sentencing.