Brockway Man Arrested for Child Rape, Child Pornography

WASHIGNTON TWP., Pa. (EYT) – A Brockway man is behind bars following an investigation into child pornography that led to the discovery of the alleged rape of a young child and sexual assault of a teen.

Court documents indicate the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation filed criminal charges against 31-year-old Justin Luicus Ratzel, of Brockway.

According to a criminal complaint, on February 20, 2020, the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation received information from the Internet Crimes Against Child men (ICAC) relative to a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) generated by Facebook. NCMEC received the tip from Facebook on December 28, 2019, after Facebook became aware of reported material on December 27, 2019, and reported that a video of child pornography had been transmitted via Facebook Messenger.

According to the complaint, the reported video depicted two nude prepubescent girls and an adult male performing sex acts on one of the girls, who was approximately five years old.

The complaint states the report from Facebook included information about the user being reported, identified as Justin Ratzel, as well as the IP address the message was uploaded from. A search of the IP address and a subpoena to Comcast Cable regarding the subscriber returned a Brockway address where police found Ratzel and his family had resided during the time the video was transmitted.

Police then questioned Ratzel about the video.

Ratzel reportedly gave police permission to search his phone, and police collected multiple phones from Ratzel’s residence.

The complaint indicates a search of one of the phones located a video of a prepubescent child removing her clothing and performing a sex act. When police showed Ratzel the video, he allegedly said he did not know the video was there.

During further questioning, Ratzel reportedly admitted “there was a time” he was interested in child pornography. Ratzel said he had previously traded child pornography on Facebook through “a few” accounts. He told police he used Mocospace for the purpose of receiving and trading child pornography, as well, and had received between 15 to 20 images or videos of child pornography that he saved to his Google account.

Police later obtained a search warrant for Ratzel’s Google photos and Facebook accounts.

According to the complaint, police found five videos of child pornography involving indecent contact on the Google photos account and one video of a child performing a sex act on a man that appeared to be taken from a first-person perspective.

The complaint notes police observed that the marks on the body of the man in the video matched specific markings on Ratzel’s body. Police also found a photo Ratzel had taken of his genitals and noted distinct similarities between clothing he wore in the photo and clothing worn by the man in the child pornography video.

Police then received the Facebook warrant results which included conversation related to the child pornography video.

According to the complaint, in the conversation Ratzel stated that he “loved underage girls,” and later stated that he wanted a known juvenile victim to perform a sex act on him again. There was also reportedly conversation about fantasizing about performing other various sex acts on the juvenile victim.

Ratzel was later interviewed again at the Clearfield County Prison.

The complaint states Ratzel then admitted to having the juvenile victim perform a sex act on him while he attempted to video-record the incident, but he did not think his phone was working at the time.

According to a second complaint, during the initial investigation, Ratzel was developed as a suspect in another crime. The investigation led investigators to interview Ratzel again in relation to a statement he had made about previously dating a 15-year-old girl. However, Ratzel reportedly told investigators he did not remember her name or where she lived.

The complaint notes that during the review of Ratzel’s Facebook and Google Photos accounts, multiple photos of Ratzel and a girl that appeared to be in her teens were discovered. Police were then able to discover the teen victim’s identity by viewing additional videos on the account. They also discovered a Facebook Messenger conversation between Ratzel and the victim that seemed to indicate they were dating.

During the conversations, Ratzel brought up various sex acts he wanted to perform on the teen victim multiple times, the complaint indicates. In another conversation, he also reportedly admitted he performed a sex act on the teen victim.

Police then interviewed the teen victim.

According to the complaint, the victim told investigators Ratzel was previously her “boyfriend.” She indicated that she was aware he was an adult and he was aware she was a juvenile. She also reported that they had engaged in sex acts. She told investigators the incidents and online conversations occurred when she was 13 years old and Ratzel was 29.

Ratzel was then interviewed again and reportedly admitted that the teen victim had been his “girlfriend,” and he had engaged in sex acts with her knowing that she was a juvenile at the time.

Ratzel was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge David B. Inzana at 12:30 p.m. on July 28.

He faces the following charges from the initial investigation:

– Rape of Child, Felony 1
– Photograph/Film/Depict on Computer Sex Act – Knowingly Depicts on Computer, Photo, etc, Felony 1 (two counts)
– Statutory Sexual Assault: 11 Years Older, Felony 1
– Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse With Child, Felony 1
Disseminate Photo/Film of Child Sex Acts, Felony 2
– Child Pornography, Felony 2 (six counts)
– Indecent Assault Person Less than 13 Years of Age, Felony 3

He also faces the following charges related to the further investigation:

– Statutory Sexual Assault: 11 Years Older, Felony 1
– Aggravated Indecent Assault – Comp. Less Than 16, Felony 2

He was lodged in the Jefferson County Jail with bail for the initial case set at $20,000.00 monetary and bail for the second case set at $5,000.00 monetary.

Preliminary hearings are scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on August 10, with Judge Inzana presiding.

Court documents indicate Ratzel was sentenced to a minimum of 90 days up to a maximum of six months confinement in the Clearfield County Jail on a contempt or violation of order or agreement charge on March 30, 2021.

EDITOR’S NOTE 1: Extreme graphic details were not included due to the sexual nature of the alleged crimes.

EDITOR’S NOTE 2: Several details were removed from this article to help protect the identity of the victims.


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