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Court Allows Former Professor Charged With Child Porn to Run Errands

Judge OKs time for Donald Ratcliff, a former Wheaton College professor charged with child pornography possession, to run errands each week. The case continues to Sep. 12 as his attorney looks at evidence taken from Ratcliff's office.

A judge has agreed to allow Donald Ratcliff, a former Wheaton College professor , to leave his home to go to the grocery store and the post office once a week and to get a haircut once a month.

Ratcliff, who remains free on $300,000 bail, appeared in DuPage County court Tuesday morning. His attorney Dan Collins asked to continue the case, to allow time to look at the pornography authorities took from Ratcliff's office.

Earlier this year, Ratcliff was charged after investigators tracked pornography downloads to Ratcliff's computer and recovered five computer hard drives and hundreds of DVDs that included images and videos of child rape, fondling and sexually suggestive dancing by girls as young as preschool age, according to prosecutors.

Wheaton College fired Ratcliff, and his wife a short time after his arrest. Court documents show the divorce case remains pending. The judge in that case recently allowed Ratcliff to withdraw approximately $65,000 from a retirement plan to cover bills on the Carol Stream home between May and August, as well as property taxes, records state.

Ratcliff will be allowed one hour per week to shop for groceries and one hour per week to go to the post office. He will be allowed one hour per month to get a haircut. He will go to the store at non-peak hours, Collins said.

Ratcliff will return to court Wednesday, Sep. 12.

More news on the case:

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Police Blotter information is provided by . Charges are not evidence of guilt. They are a record of police actions taken on a given day, and persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. If you or a family member are charged or cited and the case is subsequently adjudicated, we encourage you to notify the editor. We will verify and report the outcome.

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