Luzerne County youth sports coach charged over alleged sexual assault


EDWARDSVILLE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A former Luzerne County youth sports coach is charged with sexually assaulting girls, over a decade ago.

“Oh my gosh! I have three girls I couldn’t imagine,” said Brenda Prince, neighbor.

That was Prince’s reaction to hearing the news that her neighbor was arrested after police say he sexually assaulted multiple girls years ago.

47-year-old Joseph Ratowski was arrested after police say he molested two sisters of someone he coached in football.

The criminal complaint highlights years of sexual assault by a former youth football and baseball coach.

“I couldn’t imagine what it’s like to have my kids molested really. I have three of them, but they’re grown so,” Prince said.

The affidavit says Ratowski became close friends with a boy he coached, and frequently slept over his house. It goes on to say he would sneak into the victim’s room and sexually assault her. Police say this happened to at least two girls.

“It makes me feel heart broke, because you have to be able to trust people to let your kids out and play and you can’t even do that anymore,” Prince said. 

The affidavit says this went on between the years of 1995 and 2005. He was released on a $75,000 unsecured bail.

Ratowski is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault, two counts of indecent assault and corruption of minors.

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