Priest accused of having child porn free on $250,000 bond

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) _ 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 an associate pastor.

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.
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Information from: Belleville News-Democrat