HARRISONBURG, Va. –  The Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (NOVA-DC ICAC) and the Rockingham County Commonwealth’s Attorney announce the sentencing of a Maryland man to 75 years in prison, with 36 years suspended, after he pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor online. The charges against John R. Raff, 42, of Perryville, Md., date back to 2014, when he was arrested in Maryland and extradited to Virginia for an ongoing NOVA-DC ICAC Task Force investigation.  Raff was attempting to sexually solicit someone he believed to be a minor.

Following his arrest in 2014, Raff posted bond and fled to the Arab Republic of Egypt.  The Rockingham Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and Virginia State Police, along with the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, INTERPOL, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs, and Egyptian authorities, were able to locate him and secure his extradition back to the United States.  Raff pled guilty in November 2023 to three felony counts of Use of a Communications Systems to Facilitate Certain Offenses Involving Children (Code of VA 18.2-374.3) and three counts of Failure to Appear in court. He was sentenced in Rockingham County Circuit Court March 1, 2024.

“This case should send a clear message to criminals who think they can flee justice,” said Rockingham County Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Alycia Eldridge. “Thanks to the steadfast determination and coordination between my office, the Virginia State Police NOVA-DC ICAC Task Force agent, the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs, the United States Marshals Service, INTERPOL, and Egyptian authorities, we were able to successfully secure the arrest and extradition of a sexual predator back to Virginia to be held responsible for his crimes.”

MUG SHOT Source credit: Rockingham/Harrisonburg Regional Jail.