Dallas Man Admits to Using Social Media to Obtain Sexually Explicit Photos
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 42-year-old Dallas man has entered a guilty plea to sexual exploitation of a child, otherwise known as production of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Daniel Fredrick Heidemann admitted to posing as a young male in order to elicit sexually explicit photos from a juvenile female.
The court heard today that in August 2014, authorities learned that a juvenile female had been communicating via cellular telephone text messages and several social media websites with an individual she believed was a juvenile male from Dallas. Heidemann was identified as the perpetrator and admitted to posing as a juvenile male and enticing the victim into sending him sexually explicit photographs of herself.
“While technology in this era is a wonderful tool for connecting with others, it can also a very dangerous place, especially for children,” said Magidson. “Adults, parents, older siblings and caregivers need to be vigilant in their efforts to protect our children online. We need to teach them about these dangers, with whom they could be communicating and what information should and should not be shared.”
Authorities executed a search warrant at Heidemann’s residence in Dallas and seized several electronic media storage devices. Forensic examination led to the discovery of several photographs of the juvenile female that were sexually explicit in nature.
U.S District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos accepted the guilty plea today and set sentencing for Nov. 20, 2015. At that time, Heidemann faces up a minimum of 15 and up to 30 years in federal prison as well as possible $250,000 fine. Upon completion of any prison term imposed, Heidemann also faces a maximum of life on supervised release during which time the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect and prohibit the use of the Internet.
Heidemann was arrested on the federal charges in March 2015 and has been in custody since that time where he will remain pending his sentencing hearing.
The charges are the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of the Corpus Christi Police Department-Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hugo R. Martinez, was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."