Downstate priest accused of having child porn free on $250K bond

BELLEVILLE — A Catholic priest who was arrested in southern Illinois on child pornography charges is now free on bond.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports the sister of the Rev. Gerald R. Hechenberger posted his bond over the weekend after a judge reduced bail from $2 million to $250,000.




Hechenberger was arrested Jan. 9 after detectives found images and videos of child pornography and drug paraphernalia at Holy Childhood Church and school in Mascoutah where Hechenberger is associate pastor.

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Authorities launched an investigation after receiving a tip from a group called Internet Crimes Against Children.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Randall Kelley put in place conditions for Hechenberger’s release. Among them he must live at a specific residence, refrain from contact with children 16 and younger, and avoid electronic devices with internet access.

–Associated Press

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