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Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Ex Wheaton College Professor Pleads Guilty to Possessing Child Porn

  • (Photo: Arlington Cardinal Crime & Forensics Facebook)
    Police photo of former Wheaton College professor Donald Ratcliff.
August 6, 2013|4:58 pm

Donald Ratcliff, a former professor at Wheaton College in Illinois who has written books on children's spirituality, has pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and could face up to seven years in prison.

The 62-year-old former professor was arrested in March 2012 after investigators linked child porn files on the Internet to his home computer. The guilty plea means prosecutors will drop nine felony counts against him, including six of aggravated child pornography, which could have sent him to prison for 49 years, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The investigation found that Ratcliff was in possession of 500 pornographic images of children, some of which seemed to be younger than 13, DuPage County prosecutors said during the court hearing. Shortly after his arrest, his wife divorced him and he lost his job at the college. His sentencing is scheduled for October 9.

Ratcliff admitted to have been seeing a counselor to treat his interest in child pornography, though Assistant State's Attorney Louisa Nuckolls said that he believed he only had a "problem" and not an addiction.

"It was a cycle," Nuckolls said, according to the Daily Herald. The Assistant State's Attorney revealed that Ratcliff admitted that he downloaded illegal files of children a number of times, before deleting and then downloading them again.

Ratcliff had been teaching Christian education at Wheaton since 2006. Additionally, he has written and edited over 10 books about children's spirituality, including Handbook of Preschool Religious Education, Childfaith: Experiencing God and Spiritual Growth with Your Children and Raising Your Child: From Birth to Twelve.

Wheaton College is a private four-year Christian liberal arts college, established in 1860, and says in its mission statement that it "serves Jesus Christ and advances His Kingdom through excellence in liberal arts and graduate programs that educate the whole person to build the church and benefit society worldwide."

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/ex-wheaton-college-professor-pleads-guilty-to-possessing-child-porn-101695/