Wife Files For Divorce From Accused Former Professor

Reports say Donald Ratcliff was released on bond on Tuesday.

The wife of former Wheaton College professor Donald Ratcliff wants a divorce in the wake of her husband's arrest on child pornography charges.

Brenda Ratcliff filed for divorce on March 15, citing "irreconciable differences," two weeks after her husband was charged with possessing numerous pictures and videos depicting child pornography. The couple married in 1978 in Texas, according to court records.

The Daily Herald reported Thursday that Donald Ratcliff posted bond Tuesday to be released from DuPage County Jail, where he had been held on $300,000 bail. He pleaded and is scheduled to return to court on May 2. A judge has ordered Ratcliff to undergo a pyschosexual assessment.

As part of his release, Ratcliff can have no contact with any minors, cannot access the Internet or possess a smartphone with web access.

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.

After his arrest, Ratcliff "intellectually rationalized" his reasons for possessing and viewing the materials, prosecutors said at March bond reduction hearing.

Brenda Ratcliff declined comment on the divorce, but previously Patch that her family would not assist him in posting bond to be released from jail.

"We are devastated by the allegations against him. We fear for his safety as well as our own should he be released," Ratcliff explained in an email to Patch.

The divorce case is scheduled for a July 12 hearing. As of this week, it did not appear - according to court records - that Donald Ratcliff had been served with the divorce papers.

Donna April 06, 2012 at 01:02 PM
"Intellectually rationalizing" is normal for people with these kind of deviant behaviors. They have to find some way of living with themselves, so they simply change the rules, and over time are mystified when the rest of the world doesn't see things their way. Bravo to Mrs. Ratcliff for walking out. Simply "trying harder" doesn't work. One has to cut ties completely in order for that person to be forced into therapy. Sadly this kind of behavior doesn't have good outcomes even in specialized treatment. It's best for his wife to part ways with him legally and finally live in peace.
Mouse April 06, 2012 at 04:44 PM
He pretty much can't have ANY cell phone. I have a crap phone and can still go online. Can't believe he made it out.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »