Catholic priest arrested on child pornography, meth charges

A Catholic priest in Belleville has been arrested on child pornography and meth charges.

Belleville police say the Rev. Gerald R. Hechenberger was arrested 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.

He was charged Tuesday with child pornography and possession of methamphetamine.

The 54-year-old Hechenberger remains in custody after his bail was set at $2 million. It was not immediately clear if he has an attorney.

In a statement, Belleville Diocese Bishop Edward K. Braxton says the diocese has not received any information that any parishioners “are affected by this matter.