Pelham woman convicted of sexual abuse

Published 2:30 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By BARTON PERKINS | Staff Writer

PELHAM – Pelham resident Michelle Lee Ratliff was officially sentenced to 26 years in prison without parole on Tuesday, Aug. 22.

Michelle was initially apprehended back in 2021 when she and her husband Edwin were arrested with two charges of first-degree sodomy, one charge of sexual torture with an inanimate object and one count of selling a controlled substance to a minor. Mr. Ratliff was additionally charged with another count of first-degree sodomy and five counts of production of obscene matter of a person below the age of 17.

Court documents indicate that the victim of Michelle and Edwin’s abuse is Michelle’s biological aunt. Between 2011 and 2015 the couple groomed the victim from the ages of 10 to 14 until she was “willing” to perform multiple sexual acts with the couple. The victim is also said to have been given multiple drugs including Adderall, Suboxone and Percocet by the Ratliffs.

Michelle and Edwin were eventually arrested and charged for their crimes back in 2021 when their victim came forward with allegations of sexual abuse.

Edwin eventually pleaded guilty to all charges and also received a prison sentence of 26 years, without the possibility of parole, back in April.

“Crimes such as this are a stain on our community and if you commit crimes like this in Shelby County, my office will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law,” said District Attorney Matt Casey. “We are thankful for the victim’s courage in this instance for coming forward.”