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Press Release

Minot, ND Man and Velva, ND Woman Sentenced to Federal Prison for Sexual Exploitation of Minor Children

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of North Dakota

BISMARCK – Interim United States Attorney Jennifer Klemetsrud Puhl announced that on June 22, 2022, U.S. District Court Judge Daniel L. Hovland sentenced Katie Heidinger, age 33 of Velva, ND and Derrick Walker, age 46 of Minot, ND, for the charges of Six Counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, and Walker for an additional count of Receipt of Images Depicting the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.

Katie Heidinger plead guilty to the charged offenses and was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment followed by a life term of supervised release. Derrick Walker was found guilty following a federal jury on January 26, 2022 and was sentenced to 45 years’ imprisonment followed by a life term of supervised release to follow.

During the trial of Derrick Walker, Katie Heidinger testified that she engaged in an affair with Walker during which time Walker disclosed to her that he was sexually interested in young boys. At Walker’s request, Heidinger produced sexually explicit images and videos involving three boys, ages one, two and five years. Thereafter, she sent this material to Walker to view. Heidinger, again per Walker’s request, created images and videos that depicted her sexually abusing some of these same boys. In addition, Walker requested Heidinger to engage in similar conduct with three other children.

The matter came to law enforcement attention when Heidinger’s then husband discovered some of the images and videos on Heidinger’s cellphone and immediately reported the discovery to the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gary Delorme and investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations, Minot Police Department, and McHenry County Sheriff’s Office.

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices throughout the nation, Project Safe Childhood, in conjunction with Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), help federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative responses to offenders who use the Internet, online communications systems, or computer technology to sexually exploit children. The ICAC Program is a national network of 61 coordinated task forces engaging in proactive investigations, forensic investigations, and criminal prosecutions. Project Safe Childhood also helps to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

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Terry W. Van Horn 701-297-7458

Updated June 22, 2022