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Crime & Courts

Former Wheaton College professor convicted of child porn possession back in jail

The DuPage County State's Attorney's Office wants to revoke the probation of former Wheaton College professor and children's spirituality author Donald Ratcliff, 65, who pleaded guilty in 2013 to possession of child pornography.
The DuPage County State's Attorney's Office wants to revoke the probation of former Wheaton College professor and children's spirituality author Donald Ratcliff, 65, who pleaded guilty in 2013 to possession of child pornography.

The DuPage County State's Attorney's Office wants to revoke the probation of a former Wheaton College professor and children's spirituality author who pleaded guilty in 2013 to possession of child pornography.

In February 2014, Donald Ratcliff, 65, was sentenced to 42 months in prison. A Carol Stream police investigation identified his IP address had downloaded pornographic images of children.

Upon seizure of computers at his residence in March 2012, police found at least 500 pornographic images, the subjects of which appeared to be younger than 13 years old in some cases. In March 2014, Judge John Kinsella reduced Ratcliff's sentence to 180 days in jail and four years of probation.

DuPage County prosecutors are now seeking to revoke Ratcliff's probation, which is set to end in March 2018. According to court records, Ratcliff reported to his probation officer on April 23 "that he had accessed a website containing sexually stimulating materials."

"On May 1, during a home visit, the defendant indicated he knew what the website would contain and viewed it for sexual purposes," a petition to revoke his probation stated.

A hearing on the petition is set for June 8. Ratcliff is being held in DuPage County Jail on a $150,000 bond.

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