New Rochelle Man Sentenced to 21 Years in Prison for Sex Offenses Involving Three Children in County

Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah announced last month that a New Rochelle man was sentenced to 21 years in state prison for sexual acts involving three children in Westchester County, as well as for the possession and creation of images and videos of children engaged in sexual acts, between 2019 and 2023.

DA Rocah said: “After years of preying upon children and inflicting unspeakable trauma on his victims, this defendant has been brought to justice and removed from our community. I thank the brave survivors for their courage in working with our Office, and the multiple agencies who partnered with us on this case to secure this conviction. We will continue to support the victims throughout their healing and offer further assistance in any way possible.”

The defendant, Jason Ricketts, 23, pleaded guilty on Jan. 29 to two counts of Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the First Degree, Criminal Sexual Act in the Second Degree, and Promoting an Obscene Sexual Performance by a Child, all felonies.

The defendant appeared before New York State Supreme Court Judge James McCarty and was also sentenced to 20 years of post-release supervision. He is also required to register as a sex offender.

The defendant first met his victims in person at locations where children gather and befriended them by deceiving the children and their parents into believing that he was younger than he was. The defendant methodically gained the trust of his victims, even using substances with them before engaging in sexual acts with his victims, which he filmed. When the victims tried to leave or stop engaging, the defendant indicated that he would post the videos and images to social media accounts.

The sexual abuse began in 2019, when the victims were 12 years old, and continued until 2023.

The DA’s Office Cyber Crimes Bureau and High Technology Crimes Unit launched an investigation in October 2022 after Dropbox Inc., a file hosting service, filed a CyberTipline Report with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) about an uploaded video file containing minors engaged in sexual acts.

Upon receiving NCMEC’s notification, the New York State Police developed a suspect in Westchester County and the DA’s Office obtained a search warrant in January 2023 for the defendant’s residence in New Rochelle.

With assistance from the New Rochelle Police Department, the DA’s Office investigators seized multiple devices from the defendant’s home. The defendant admitted to using Dropbox.

Subsequent forensic analysis of the defendant’s phone revealed a photo vault disguised as a calculator app containing dozens of videos and photos of the defendant performing sexual acts on children, which led investigators to identify three child victims in Westchester County.

The Child Abuse Bureau and the Special Prosecutions Unit located the three minors and their families, who agreed to work with the DA’s Office.

The DA’s Office arrested the defendant on Feb. 2, 2023, and seized an additional device, which revealed internet searches regarding how to remotely wipe devices, whether a person’s age can be determined through a video, and attorneys who specialize in defending individuals charged with sex offenses.

The defendant has remained in custody at the Westchester County Jail since his arrest.

John Shehan, Senior Vice President of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) Exploited Children Division & International Engagement said: “In 2023, NCMEC received more than 36 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation and made them available to law enforcement. The staggering volume of reports underscores the pressing need for ongoing collaboration in a shared mission to safeguard children and ensure a safer online environment.

NCMEC applauds the relentless efforts of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office and collaborating law enforcement agencies for their hard work on this case and commends the bravery of the survivors who have courageously come forward.”

Steven G. James, New York State Police Superintendent said: “Mr. Ricketts had no regard for the wellbeing of the victims in this case. The evidence gathered, and work done by the New York State Police and our law enforcement partners, ensures the defendant will serve time for his deplorable acts. We have zero tolerance for those who prey on innocent children. This sentencing reflects the severity of the crimes committed and our commitment to finding justice for our most vulnerable victims.”

Robert Gazzola, New Rochelle Police Department Commissioner said: “The collaborative efforts between multiple agencies in Westchester County have culminated in the successful arrest and prosecution of Jason Ricketts, who has been sentenced to 21 years in prison. This outcome reflects the dedication and synergy of our law enforcement community in upholding justice and safeguarding our neighborhoods.”

In a statement to the court, one victim stated: “I met you when I was 8 years old, and then you became a constant in my life when I was 11 years old…. You stole years of my life from me. Not only did your actions affect me, but you affected others who once called you their friend; but you weren’t really a true friend, you were a wolf in sheep’s clothing a predator. You deserve all the time in prison you’re getting; you need to be far away from kids.”

Addressing the defendant, a second victim added, “You are a disgusting human being. You took away years of my life that I can’t get back. I wish every day that I never met you. I was 12 years old…I would walk around afraid all the time. Every time I tried to make a new friend, you would blackmail me and try to scare me. I am not afraid of you anymore. After today, I hope I never see you again.”

Anyone who may have been victimized or may have information about other possible victims of the defendant can contact the DA’s Office Special Prosecutions Division directly at (914) 995- 3000. Language assistance is available.

The District Attorney thanked the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s CyberTipline Reporting team, the New York State Police, the New Rochelle Police Department, and the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program—a statewide coalition of law enforcement investigators, analysts, and prosecutors from the New York State Police, the New York State Attorney General’s Office, and the Department of Criminal Justice Services of New York State, as well as other county and local law enforcement agencies including the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office Cyber Crimes Bureau and High Technology Crimes Unit.

The District Attorney also thanked the Westchester Institute for Human Development’s Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) for their assistance.

The case was prosecuted by Cyber Crimes Bureau Chief Laura Forbes of the Trials and Investigations Division, Domestic Violence Deputy Bureau Chief Janelle Armentano and Sex Crimes Bureau Senior Assistant District Attorney Mollie O’Rourke, both of the Special Prosecutions Division.

A recording of the announcement can be viewed at