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Press Release

Black Hawk Man Indicted for Child Pornography Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota

RAPID CITY - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that a federal grand jury has indicted a Black Hawk, South Dakota, man for Receipt of Child Pornography and Possession of Child Pornography.

Matthew Charles Ratliff, age 49, was indicted in May of 2023. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daneta L. Wollmann on June 9, 2023, and pleaded not guilty to the Indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is a mandatory minimum of five years in custody and/or a $250,000 fine, mandatory minimum of five years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund for each count. Restitution may also be ordered.

The charges relate to Ratliff receiving and possessing child pornography between June 16, 2022, and April 26, 2023.

The charge is merely an accusation and Ratliff is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

The investigation is being conducted by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, South Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah B. Collins is prosecuting the case. 

Ratliff was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial. A trial date has not been set.


Updated June 15, 2023

Project Safe Childhood