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posted: 3/9/2012 6:25 PM

Wheaton professor charged with child porn should stay in jail, wife says

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  • Donald Ratcliff

    Donald Ratcliff


The wife of jailed Wheaton College professor Donald Ratcliff said in a brief statement Friday that she has no intention of posting bond in his child pornography case.

"From the moment of Don's arrest, my children and I have been united in the belief that the best course of action for Don and all concerned is for him to not post bond," Brenda Ratcliff said in an email to the Daily Herald. "We are not engaged in trying to assist him in doing that, and fear for our safety as well as his if he were released."

Ratcliff, who declined further comment, said she wanted to clarify statements made by her husband's attorney, who indicated at a hearing Thursday that his client had the support of church and family members, and would be able to post bond,

The attorney, Dan Collins, declined Friday to comment or elaborate on the situation.

"I'm not getting into his family's personal business," Collins said.

He added that he stands by his statement that Donald Ratcliff's family has been "shaken to its core."

Ratcliff, a professor of Christian education and psychologist whose research has focused on child spirituality, is facing two counts of aggravated child pornography stemming from months-long undercover investigation.

If convicted of both counts, he could face up to 14 years in prison.

Prosecutors disclosed Thursday that authorities found at least 500 illegal images on computer equipment taken from his home office in Carol Stream during a search last week. They also uncovered several non-pornographic videos of children who they said were surreptitiously recorded at birthday parties and playgrounds.

DuPage County Judge John Kinsella earlier this week reduced Ratcliff's bail from $750,000 to $300,000. Ratcliff remained in custody Friday afternoon, apparently unable to post the $30,000 necessary to be released.

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