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posted: 3/29/2012 11:38 AM

Ex-Wheaton College prof arraigned on child porn charges

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  • Donald Ratcliff

    Donald Ratcliff


A former Wheaton College professor will undergo a psychosexual evaluation, his attorney said at his arraignment Thursday on child pornography charges.

Donald Ratcliff, 60, entered formal pleas of not guilty to seven counts of aggravated child pornography and three misdemeanor weapons-related charges.

His attorney, Dan Collins, also requested Ratcliff receive a psychosexual evaluation while he remains jailed on $300,000 bail. The assessment of Ratcliff's sexual history and related psychology will be conducted by the county's pretrial services unit.

"If he does make bail, I will have him immediately report to their office for the examination," Collins told DuPage County Circuit Judge John Kinsella.

Prosecutors say Ratcliff, of Carol Stream, had more than 500 images of child pornography -- many of them involving children younger than 5 -- when police searched his home earlier this month after an undercover investigation.

He also is accused of possessing two handguns and 1,600 rounds of ammunition without being registered to own firearms.

A spokeswoman for Wheaton College said Ratcliff was fired from his job as a Christian education professor on March 14, two weeks after he was charged. The next day, Ratcliff's wife filed for divorce, court records show.

Ratcliff had taught at the college since 2006 and holds a doctorate in psychology. His research focused largely on children's spirituality, according to online biographies. He was immediately placed on leave after being charged.

Aggravated child pornography is punishable by probation or three to seven years in prison, Kinsella said. Recent legislation mandates consecutive terms in cases resulting in multiple convictions of the offense.

Ratcliff is scheduled to return to court May 2.

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