Wheaton College Professor Arrested; Child Porn, Handguns Found

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By Napp Nazworth, Christian Post Reporter
March 5, 2012|12:47 pm

A Wheaton College professor was arrested Thursday for possession of child pornography. Police also found two unlicensed handguns in his home.

Donald Ratcliff, 60, has been a professor of Christian education at Wheaton since 2006. He also has an educational background in childhood development and taught classes and wrote books about children's spirituality.

A statement from Wheaton College on Thursday read, "Wheaton College was informed this afternoon by the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office that Donald Ratcliff, a professor at the College, was charged with two counts of Aggravated Child Pornography. Dr. Ratcliff has been placed on administrative leave."

Wheaton College sent a memo to all of its students, parents of students, staff and faculty saying, "We are grieved to receive this news and value your prayers for all affected by this situation."

Carol Stream police learned that Ratcliff's computer was associated with trading child pornography. Some of the images were children under the age of 13, according to the Chicago Tribune. Police found a "significant amount" of child pornography on six or seven computers in Ratcliff's home with multiple hard drives on each computer, according to Carol Stream Detective Peter Chacon.

Wheaton College's website says that Ratcliff has a Ed.S. in educational psychology with an emphasis on child development and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Georgia.

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He co-authored a book published in 1995 called Christian Child-Rearing and Personality Development and co-authored a chapter in 2005 book called The Handbook of Spiritual Development in Childhood and Adolescence.

Ratcliff's attorney said that the handguns were family heirlooms. Police also found 1,600 rounds of ammunition.

A judge on Friday set Ratcliff's bail at $750,000.

Contact: napp.nazworth@christianpost.com, @NappNazworth (Twitter)
 

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