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Former Wheaton Professor to Appear in Court Wednesday for Child Porn, Weapons Charges

Donald Ratcliff, a former Wheaton College professor charged with possession of child pornography, will appear in DuPage County court Wednesday morning. He pleaded guilty to the charges March 29.

A former Wheaton College professor charged with possession of child pornography and weapons with no FOID card will appear for a hearing in DuPage County Wednesday morning.

Donald Ratcliff, 60, of Carol Stream pleaded not guilty to seven charges of aggravated possession of child pornography and three weapons-related charges March 29.

He was scheduled to undergo a psyco-sexual evaluation before the May 2 hearing. According to an Apr. 5 Daily Herald report, Ratcliff posted bond Apr. 3 to be released from DuPage County Jail, where he had been .

As part of his release, Ratcliff may not have contact with minors, access to the Internet or a smart phone with web access.

After his March 1 arrest, , prosecutors said at a March bond reduction hearing.

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.

His wife, 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.

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. Ratcliff is scheduled to appear before DuPage County Judge John Kinsella at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Mouse May 02, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Hm. Maybe I'll walk upstairs and go see him.

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