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Couple charged for filming sexual abuse of 5-year-old girl

Brookville, PA – A former Brockway couple were jailed after allegedly videoing the man engaging in sexual acts with the woman’s 5-year-old daughter.

Jefferson County District Attorney Jeff Burkett announces that, after an intensive investigation that commenced in February 2020, 31-year-old Justin Lucius Ratzel and Raven Nicole Jeffrey, both formerly of Brockway, were charged with various counts of rape of a child, sexual abuse of children, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, and indecent assault.

The charges stem from an investigation that started with a tip being received that someone had uploaded and transmitted a video containing child pornography via Facebook Messenger.

As a result of this tip, Trooper Robert Whyel of the Pennsylvania State Police Northwest Computer Crimes Task Force was able to identify Ratzel as the person who uploaded and transmitted the video.

During the investigation, Trooper Whyel discovered a video which depicted Ratzel engaging in a sexual act with a 5-year-old female child. Further investigation revealed that this child was Jeffrey’s daughter and that Jeffrey was present for this event and videotaped the event on her cell phone.

During the course of his investigation, Trooper Whyel identified another juvenile female who later reported that Ratzel performed a sexual act on her as well.

Burkett states, “The Commonwealth’s claim in this case is that Ratzel conspired and agreed with Jeffrey to sexually abuse Jeffrey’s 5-year-old daughter and to videotape the same. I thank and commend Tpr. Robert Whyel for his hard work and determination on this case. I also thank Cpl. Bernard Novak, also of the Northwest Computer Crimes Task Force for his work on the case as well as the Jefferson County Children and Youth Service and Western PA Cares for Kids. This is a team that is fully invested in the mission of protecting children as the most vulnerable among us.”

This investigation is ongoing at this time.

District Attorney Burkett cautions that, as in all criminal cases, charges are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.