Husband, wife charged with raping woman's daughter

By Abby Morris
Star Staff
amorris@starhq.com
KINGSPORT -- After police over the weekend found a young boy walking along a road carrying videotapes of his parents raping his 12-year-old half sister, they arrested the Sullivan County couple.
Sullivan County Sheriff's Department officers arrested Jeffery Lee Ratliff, 37, and his wife, Sherie Ratliff, 36, both of 2868 Carrollwood Heights Rd. Jeffery Ratliff was charged with four counts of rape of a child, two counts of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and attempted child abuse and neglect. Sherie Ratliff was charged with three counts of rape of a child, one count of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and attempted child abuse and neglect.
According to reports, at approximately 8 p.m. Saturday, police were called to New Beasonwell Road in Kingsport on a report of a juvenile walking along the side of the road. When officers arrived, they found a 9-year-old boy walking nearly one-and-a-half miles away from his home.
"He told officers his parents allegedly told him that they did not want him anymore and for him to leave," a press release from the SCSD said. The juvenile told police he was walking to a friend's house.
Police took the boy to his residence on Carrollwood Heights Road. "When officers arrived at the residence, they found a 12-year-old female in the back yard of the residence wearing no socks, no shoes and no coat. The temperature was approximately 40 degrees with a wind chill of approximately 32 degrees," the press release said. "The female told officers she had been put out of the house by her parents."
When officers knocked on the door of the residence, a woman later identified as Sherie Ratliff answered wearing no clothing. "She advised she needed to put some clothes on and returned several minutes later and still was not dressed," the press release said.
Police found two more children inside the residence, ages one and two years old, and Jeffery Ratliff was hiding in the attic of the residence.
Authorities notified the Department of Children's Services about the incident and representatives of that agency responded to the scene.
"The 12-year-old female, who is Sherie Ratliff's daughter and Jeffery Ratliff's step-daughter, then advised officers of sexual activity involving her parents and her where they had made video tapes of some of the incidents," the release said. "Detectives and officers searched the residence and found video tapes of both parents sexually abusing her."
Some of the alleged sexual activity took place at the family's current residence while some of it occurred at their former residence, 3412 Bloomingdale Pike, also in Kingsport.
All four of the children were taken into the custody of the Department of Children's Services.