Johnson County judge seals court document in case against high school choir director

Heidesch Mug.jpg
Posted at 12:47 PM, Oct 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-18 13:47:10-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Johnson County, Kansas, judge sealed a court record Monday morning in connection to a sex crimes case involving the choir director at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School.

Earlier this month, the Johnson County District Attorney’s office charged Joseph Heidesch with two counts sex exploitation of a child and two counts of breach of privacy.

KSHB 41 News submitted a request for additional court records related to the investigation. On Monday morning, Johnson County District Court Judge Michael P. Joyce issued an order to seal the court documents.

The sealing came after KSHB 41 and at least one other media outlet received a copy of the court record. A court clerk representative attempted to recall the message shortly after it was sent.

In the order, prosecutors advocated the court document should be 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.”

Heidesch remains in custody at the Johnson County Detention Center on a $250,000 bond. He’s set to appear in court for a hearing on Oct. 27.

As of earlier this month, Heidesch remained on administrative leave.

For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the KSHB 41 News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the KSHB 41 News Mug Shot Policy.