CBS 2 Chicago wbbm7801059 670 The Score

Local

Bond Reduced For Prof Accused Of Child Porn

View Comments
Donald Ratcliff, 60, faces child porn charges. (DuPage County State's Attorney)

Donald Ratcliff, 60, faces child porn charges. (DuPage County State’s Attorney)

Lastest News Headlines:

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

WHEATON, Ill. (CBS) — Over the strenuous objections of a DuPage County prosecutor, a judge Thursday ordered bond reduced to $300,000 for the Wheaton College professor accused of keeping child pornography on his home computers.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports, DuPage County Assistant State’s Attorney Anne Therieau said during a bond reduction hearing Thursday that police found 500 illegal images on the six computers.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports

She said when police arrived at Donald Ratcliff’s home to arrest him a day after seizing the computers, they found him surrounded by parts from which he appeared to be trying to fashion another computer.

Ratcliff, who has taught Christian education since 2006 at Wheaton College and has written 10 books on children’s spirituality, had been jailed on $750,000 bond since his March 1 arrest.

Ratcliff stands charged with five counts of aggravated child pornography. His IP address was pinpointed by undercover Carol Stream police detectives during a month-long investigation tracking Web users who were trading child porn.

Police seized six or seven computers from Ratcliff’s home. Prosecutors said some of the children who appeared in the pornography were under the age of 13.

Ratcliff has been placed on administrative leave by the college.

Therieau said that Ratcliff told police during questioning that he had downloaded some child pornography files, and had been seeing a counselor periodically before his arrest.

Judge John Kinsella told Ratcliff that if he makes bond he must stay off of computers and the Internet.

He will be placed on a GPS home monitor bracelet and be restricted to his home, except to visit his attorney or seek medical care. He is barred from contact with children.

Ratcliff had not posted bond as of late afternoon Thursday.

View Comments