Former Saint Thomas Aquinas choir director charged with 24 additional felonies

A Saint Thomas Aquinas High School teacher, Joseph Heidesch has been charged with an additional two dozen counts of breach of privacy in sexual exploitation of a child case.

The former choir director at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park, who was already charged with several counts of sexual exploitation of a child, is now facing an additional two dozen counts.

Additional charges: Johnson County prosecutors in an amended complaint filed Friday charged Joseph Heidesch with 24 charges of breach of privacy, which are all felony offenses.

  • This brings the total number of charges against him to 30.
Joseph Heidesch. Image via Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.

Background: In October, Joseph Heidesch, 46, of Shawnee, was first charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a child, along with two counts of breach of privacy.

  • Heidesch was then later charged with two more counts of sexual exploitation of a child in November.
  • Initially placed on administrative leave, St. Thomas Aquinas has confirmed he is no longer employed by the school, according to Fox 4.

The details: Court documents previously alleged that Heidesch used a concealed recording device to record two separate victims, one of them a teenager, in the nude or a state of undress without their permission.

  • The initial crimes are alleged to have happened between Jan. 1, 2019 and Sept. 16, 2021, according to court records.
  • All 24 of the new counts of breach of privacy are alleged to have happened between August 2016 and October 2021.

What’s next: Heidesch has been held in the Johnson County jail since Oct. 6 on a $250,000 cash bond.

  • His defense attorney did file a motion last week asking for his bond to be reduced due to the fact that he has no criminal history and would remain under house arrest.
  • On Thursday, June 23, Heidesch will be back in court for a bond modification hearing.