Judge lowers bail for Wheaton College professor charged with child porn
A judge Thursday reduced the bail for a WheatonCollege professor accused of possessing child pornography but ordered that he would have to wear a GPS monitoring unit and be confined to his house should he post bond.

Donald Ratcliff, 60, had been held in the DuPage County jail in lieu of $750,000 bail since his arrest last week at his Carol Stream residence. Judge John Kinsella reduced bail to $300,000, meaning Ratcliff would need to post $30,000 cash to get out of jail prior to his trial.

In addition to the GPS order, the judge barred Ratcliff from any contact with anyone younger than 18 and ordered that he not have any Internet access.

Assistant State’s Attorney Anne Therieau asked the judge to keep bail at the previous level and said investigators had catalogued more than 500 images of child pornography from computers seized at Ratcliff’s house.

Police executed a search warrant at his home after determining that his IP address was involved in the sharing of illegal images, Therieau said. During a police interview, Ratcliff admitted downloading the images, she said.

Ratcliff, who has a doctorate in psychology, has taught at the college since 2006 and had written books on child development. The college placed him on leave following his arrest.

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