Saint Thomas Aquinas high school choir director charged in sex crimes

Joseph Heidesch.png
Posted at 11:15 AM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 17:38:59-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The choir director at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School made his first appearance in Johnson County District Court on Thursday.

Joseph Heidesch, 45, was charged earlier Thursday with two counts of sexual exploitation of a child and two counts of breach of privacy, all felony charges, for incidents that allegedly occurred between Jan. 1, 2019, and Sept. 16, 2021.

Court documents allege that Heidesch used a concealed recording device in an attempt to record an underage person who was as young as 14 at the time of the incident.

Heidesch allegedly used the same device to attempt to record a second victim, who was an adult, between May 25-30, 2019.

A spokesperson for Saint Thomas Aquinas told KSHB 41 News that faculty and staff at the high school were aware of the investigation. The spokesperson said the school was cooperating with an investigation underway with the Shawnee Police Department.

The school notified parents via a letter Wednesday of the situation.

Heidesch is being held on a $250,000 bond with several conditions, including no drug, alcohol or other substances use, electronic monitoring, no firearms, no contact with the victims and no contact with children.

He has been ordered to appear in court again Oct. 27 for a preliminary hearing.

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