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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

Monday, April 25, 2016

Nashville, Michigan Man, David Heinsen, Sentenced To 15 Years In Federal Prison For Child Pornography, Consecutive To 40-60 Years In State Prison

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – 70-year-old David Heinsen of Nashville, Michigan, was sentenced today to 20 years in federal prison – the maximum term -- for receiving 650,000 images and videos of child pornography on his computers. In announcing the federal sentence, U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney ordered that of the 20-year sentence, 15 years must be served after Heinsen finishes his 40-60 year sentence in a related Barry County Criminal Sexual Conduct case.

          "This case represents the immense damage a person with a sexual interest in children can do over the course of a lifetime, whether through hands-on sexual abuse of children or trading in child pornography, or both," said U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles. "Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in the Western District of Michigan will continue to work together to identify and prosecute offenders and give a voice to child victims."

          Heinsen kept film negatives of himself molesting and strangling an 8-year-old girl with Down syndrome in his home over 20 years ago. During the investigation, Heinsen admitted to molesting at least two other children in Ohio years ago, who have not yet been identified. Heinsen pled guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography in the federal case and one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC), First Degree, in Barry County, for his abuse of the 8-year-old girl in the photos.

          Recognizing that this sentence means Heinsen, 70, will never be released, Judge Maloney emphasized that that was his intention. "A more dastardly, ugly, violative of social norms case, I have not seen," Judge Maloney stated. He described it as one of the worst cases he has presided over because of the "graphic and unbelievably violent" acts depicted in the child pornography Heinsen produced, received, and possessed. Judge Maloney commented that Heinsen’s interest in child exploitation dates back to the "Eisenhower administration" and that Heinsen has been committing offenses for decades undetected. Judge Maloney ordered Heinsen to pay $12,000 in restitution to the 8-year-old girl, who is now an adult, for counseling and therapy. The other victims in the child pornography Heinsen received and possessed did not seek restitution, but some of them provided written statements about the devastating toll that the ongoing trade of their images has taken on their lives.

          "Child exploitation crimes are by far the most reprehensible criminal activity HSI investigates," said HSI Detroit Special Agent in Charge Marlon Miller. "These predators cause severe damage to our society and HSI will continue to move aggressively against those who seek to exploit our children to ensure they are punished to the fullest extent of the law."

          Assistant U.S. Attorney Tessa K. Hessmiller prosecuted the federal case as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office; county prosecutor’s offices; and federal, state, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement. For more information about Project Safe Childhood in West Michigan, visit: http://www.justice.gov/usao/miw/programs/psc.html.


Project Safe Childhood
Updated April 26, 2016