MASCOUTAH, Ill. (KMOX) – A Catholic priest in Mascoutah is accused of possessing child pornography.

The Belleville Police Department released a statement Monday afternoon saying a cyber tip led them to identifying a Mascoutah resident in possession of child pornography.

Reports say the resident is identified as the Rev. Gerald Hechenberger, who is the associate pastor at Holy Childhood Church and School.

Investigators say he was distributing images of children under 13 years old.

Hechenberger has been arrested, but is yet to be charged. Police say the investigation is ongoing.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Diocese of Belleville issued a statement that says, “This is a very serious matter for Father Hechenberger. At this point, the Diocese has no reason to believe any parishioners are affected by this matter. The Diocese is awaiting an update on information from the civil authorities, and has assured them of the Diocese’s full cooperation.”

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  1. Jim Descher says:

    Note to the Diocese of Belleville. You still don’t get it. You have a creep priest with CHILD PORN on his computer. He fantasized about the children he cared for. The Catholic church still has it’s proverbial head in the sand. I grew up in this church. I am not catholic any longer and never will be. I am surprised you have any parishioners left. This response by church leadership and the email sent home to school families (look that one up!) leaves me stunned.

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