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State

Ex-professor pleads guilty to child porn

WHEATON (AP) – A former professor at a suburban Chicago Christian college has pleaded guilty to having child pornography on his home computer.

The guilty plea by Donald Ratcliff on Monday means he faces a possible seven-year prison term when he is sentenced later this year.

Prosecutors said authorities found at least 500 illegal images on computer equipment taken from Ratcliff’s home in Carol Stream. As part of his plea deal, prosecutors dropped nine other felony counts.

Ratcliff was arrested in March 2012 after an investigation traced Internet files containing child pornography to computers in his home.

Ratcliff was a professor of Christian education at Wheaton College. A psychologist, Ratcliff’s research focused on child spirituality.

The college fired Ratcliff shortly after his arrest. He remains free until his sentencing in October.

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