Virginia Man Sentenced To Seven Years In Federal Prison For Transportation Of Child Sex Abuse Images Aboard International Cruise Ship

Virginia Man Sentenced To Seven Years In Federal Prison For Transportation Of Child Sex Abuse Images Aboard International Cruise Ship

Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton has sentenced Christopher Michael Ratten (32, Stafford, VA) to seven years in federal prison for transportation of child sex abuse images. Ratten had pleaded guilty on October 17, 2022.

According to court documents, on September 4, 2021, Ratten flew from Washington, D.C. to Florida. He then traveled to Port Canaveral where he boarded a commercial cruise ship. The cruise made stops in the Bahamas before returning to Port Canaveral on September 9, 2021. Upon Ratten’s reentry to the United States, an agent from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) conducted a border search of Ratten’s cellphone and located child sex abuse images on the phone. Further forensic investigation revealed that Ratten had more than 4,500 images and videos of child sex abuse on his phone, a number of which depicted the sexual abuse of infants and toddlers and bestiality. 

“This deviant fed his perversion through a vast and rapidly growing collection of explicit images and videos of children and animals being sexually abused,” said Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Orlando Assistant Special Agent in Charge David J. Pezzutti. “Thanks to the dedication of our partners at U.S. Customs and Border Protection who initially discovered the imagery, we were able to fully investigate and prosecute this predator’s abhorrent behavior.”

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Amanda Daniels.

This is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

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