clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

FIGHTER OF ABORTION CURBS FACES PORN CHARGES INVOLVING 3-YEAR-OLD

A prominent doctor who fought abortion restrictions is facing child pornography charges involving pictures of his 3-year-old foster daughter.

"These are not your typical kids in the bathtub on a Saturday night type pictures," Winnebago County state's attorney Paul Logli said Friday.Dr. Richard Ragsdale, 59, was arrested on Thursday as he picked up the film from a local photo shop. His wife, Debbie DeMars, was arrested at the couple's home.

Ragsdale denounced the charges, saying a "minor family matter has been blown totally out of proportion by the state's attorney's office."

Ragsdale said that the pictures were of a dress-up game "like kids and mothers do. . . . Little girls dress up in their mom's clothes. . . . They like doing this. This is normal."

Ragsdale was charged with one count of possession of child pornography, punishable by up to three years in prison. DeMars was charged with one count of child pornography, which carries up to 15 years in prison.

Ragsdale and DeMars were released after posting $500 and $1,000 cash bonds, respectively.

The 3-year-old was taken into protective custody by the Department of Children and Family Services, and the 10-year-old son of DeMars and Ragsdale was staying with relatives.

Ragsdale fought a protracted legal battle in the late 1980s to end what he believed were medically unnecessary rules at the state's abortion clinics. In 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a legal settlement in the case that eased restrictions on Illinois abortion clinics.