JEFFERSON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — After pleading guilty to various charges, two people were sentenced to dozens of years for raping a young girl.
Justin Lucius Ratzel, 32, and Raven Nichole Jeffrey, 29, pleaded guilty to rape of a child, sexual exploitation of children, child porn and criminal conspiracy. Ratzel was sentenced to 37 to 85 years and Jeffrey was sentenced to 35 1/2 to 71 years in a state correctional facility.
The investigation began with a tip that someone had uploaded and sent a video containing child porn via Facebook Messenger, according to Jefferson County District Attorney Jeff Burkett. Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) were able to identify Ratzel as the person who uploaded and sent the video.
Police said the video showed Ratzel engaging in sexual acts with a young girl while Jeffrey recorded it. Police also mentioned that the Facebook chat history between Ratzel and Jeffrey showed they “fantasized and conspired about perpetrating sex acts on the child.”
Further into the investigation, troopers found that another girl was sexually assaulted by Ratzel, as well.
“I cannot begin to tell you how sickening the evidence was in this case,” Burkett said. “The Facebook chat that we unearthed was enough to make a person physically ill. I am so thankful that we were able to ensure that this evil couple will not be able to continue to victimize innocent young children.”
Burkett said Judge Foradora’s tough but fair sentence ensures that they will not see the outside of a prison cell for more than 3 1/2 decades.
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“I am also very thankful for the hard work, determination and professionalism of PSP Tpr. Robert Whyel and Cpl. Bernard Novak of the Northwest Computer Crimes Task Force as well as Jefferson County Children and Youth Services and Western PA Cares for Kids.”