Former Wheaton College Professor's Child Porn Case
Former Wheaton College professor Donald Ratcliff has pleaded not guilty to seven counts of child pornography possession and three weapons-related charges after police found the materials on his computer in March.
At a March 8 hearing, prosecutors offered a detailed overview of materials recovered from computers and DVDs at Ratcliff's home after investigators tracked downloads of child pornography to his computer.
Among the five computer hard drives and hundreds of DVDs recovered, investigators found images and videos of child rape, fondling and sexually suggestive dancing by girls as young as preschool age.
Prosecutors said earlier that Ratcliff, 60, rationalized the reasons he downloaded, viewed and shared explicit videos featuring girls as young as 3-years-old. He told investigators it was “potentially therapeutic” and a “healthy alternative” to adult pornography.
Ratcliff was a professor of Christian Education at Wheaton College and a faculty member since 2006. According to a March 7 statement from Wheaton College, in December 2010, Ratcliff resigned. The resignation would have been effective June 30, 2012. His interim replacement for the 2012-13 year was hired several weeks ago.
He will return to court at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9.
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Editor's note: This is the second post on cases that will continue in 2013.
Former Wheaton Warrenville South Teacher's Child Porn Case
The child pornography case against Jason Haas, a former biology and chemistry teacher at Wheaton Warrenville South High School, has continued since his not guilty plea in January 2011.
Jason Haas, 36, was arrested almost two years ago on in Naperville on charges of aggravated possession of child pornography.
Haas, who had worked in District 200 since 2003, was immediately placed on administrative leave. He is no longer listed as an employee at Wheaton Warrenville South.
He appeared in Will County Court Dec. 5 for a pretrial hearing and is scheduled for another pretrial date Jan. 29.
- Former WWS Teacher's Child Porn Case to Resume Next Week
- Wheaton Warrenville South Teacher Arrested for Child Pornography
3 Charged With Sexual Assault of Teen
Three men are charged with sexually assaulting a teen girl inside a Wheaton apartment in 2011.
Gyan Magar, Chet Magar and Dambar Pithakotey are charged with unlawful restraint and multiple counts of criminal sexual assault.
The Daily Herald reported Gyan Magar admitted he raped the 16-year-old girl victim in a text message, according to prosecutors.
Assistant State's Attorney Anne Therieau said Magar took the victim to an apartment in September. Magar began kissing the victim and when she told him to stop, Chet Magar and Pithakotey entered the room. Therieau said men then sexually assaulted her while Magar held her down by the shoulders, according to the Herald.
Each man faces a minimum of 18 years in prison if convicted on all charges. They are not eligible for probation on any of the sex assault counts.
- Third Sex Assault Suspect Denies Charges
- Court Watch: Wheaton Rape Suspect's Arraignment is Monday
- Wheaton Rape Suspect Seeks Bail Reduction
Wheaton Teen Charged With Arranging Sex With Girl, 12, at Library
Eric Pence, 19, is charged with child luring and grooming after officials said he tried to arrange a meeting for sex with a young girl.
Pence was arrested in September after police investigated complaints from the girl's parents about Pence, who reportedly had lewd images of the girl on his phone. Prosecutors say Pence wanted to meet the 12-year-old at the Wheaton Library for sexual activity.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and will return to court Jan. 25.
Man Accused of Videotaping Stepdaughter
Timothy Zak was charged in October with secretly filming his teenage stepdaughter getting in and out of the shower. He faces two felony charges of unlawfully videotaping someone younger than 18. He pleaded not guilty to the charges earlier this month and is scheduled for a pretrial appearance in Will County court Jan. 11.
- Police Pop Peeper In Connection With Videotaping Stepdaughter
- Wheaton Man Charged With Videotaping Minor