According to Jefferson County District Attorney Jeff Burkett, two former Brockway residents have been charged for sexually abusing a young child and filming the alleged abuse.
Burkett says 31-year-old Justin Ratzel and 28-year-old Raven Jeffrey face a variety of charges related to rape of a child, sexual abuse of children, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault, and filming/possessing child pornography.
Investigators say in February of 2020, officers with the Pennsylvania State Police Northwest Computer Crimes Task Force were notified of a video, containing child pornography, being uploaded to Facebook messenger.
Upon further investigation, police learned that Ratzel had uploaded and transmitted the video.
Police say the video depicted Ratzel engaging in a sexual act with a 5-year-old female child, and investigators later learned that Jeffrey was the one filming the act.
Authorities say during the course of the investigation, another female juvenile reported that Ratzel had sexually abused her as well.
“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 Jefferson County Children and Youth Services 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,”
Burkett notes that the investigation is still ongoing.
Both Ratzel and Jeffrey are being housed at the Jefferson County Prison with court dates scheduled for later this month