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Judge seals affidavit in child sex crime charges against Saint Thomas Aquinas teacher

·1 min read

A Johnson County judge on Monday sealed the affidavit used to support bringing child sex crime charges against the choir director at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park.

The order sealing the court document was issued shortly after the Johnson County District Court mistakenly released the affidavit in the case against 45-year-old Joseph Martin Heidesch of Shawnee.

Heidesch is accused of two counts each of sexual exploitation of a child and breach of privacy.

The charges allege that Heidesch installed or used a concealed camera to secretly record victims in a state of undress without their knowledge, according to court documents. He is also accused of possessing a “visual depiction” of a child under the age of 18 who was shown or heard engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Johnson County prosecutors pushed to have the document sealed because its release “could jeopardize the physical, mental or emotional safety or well being of a victim, witness, confidential source or undercover agent, or cause the destruction of evidence.”

In addition, prosecutors argued that its release could interfere with prospective law enforcement action, criminal investigation or prosecution.

Prosecutors also contended its disclosure could reveal the identity of confidential sources and investigative techniques or process not known to the general public.

Johnson County District Judge Michael Joyce sealed the document finding that prosecutors had presented good cause to seal it.

Saint Thomas Aquinas, a Catholic school in Overland Park, has placed Heidesch on administrative leave pending the outcome of the police investigation.

Heidesch was being held in Johnson County jail on a $250,000 bond, according to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. His next court hearing is Oct. 27.

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