Man faces federal, state child porn, CSC charges

David Heinsen was arraigned in Hastings District Court on Wednesday. (Sept. 23, 2015)


NASHVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — A Barry County man is facing multiple federal and state charges after hundreds of thousands of pictures and videos of child pornography were found on his computer.

The suspect, 69-year-old David Heinsen of Nashville, Michigan, was arraigned Monday in federal court on charges of receiving of child pornography and possession of child pornography. Wednesday, he was arraigned in Barry County on four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim under the age of 13 and possession of child sexually abusive material. He was already facing charges of possession of child sexually abusive material and using a computer to commit a crime in that county.

Heinsen was given a $1 million cash bond. He was also ordered not to have contact with anyone under the age of 18 and is not allowed to have any computer communications.

He will be back in a Barry County courtroom for a probable cause conference set for Sept. 30. He’s also expected back in federal court in Kalamazoo on Oct. 27 to stand trial.

If convicted of the Barry County charges, he could face life in prison.

Police began investigating Heinsen in July after child pornography was found on a computer he used frequently. Search warrants conducted on the suspect’s home revealed numerous images, videos and magazines. Due to the number of images and global nature, police contacted the Department of Homeland Security for assistance. Evidence obtained was sent to the Michigan State Police Computer Crime Lab, Homeland Security and U.S. Customs.

The investigation has revealed 650,000 images and 3,000 videos of sexually abusive material of children of all ages, including toddlers. Many of the images show children being sexually abused and tortured.

Heinsen told police that his preference is girls between the ages of 10 and 12. He also said that he had sexually abused girls in the past, including a neighbor his family babysat in Nashville in 1989. The victim, who has Down syndrome, was 8 years old at the time and unable to describe the abuse.

The case went unsolved until recently. The suspect’s family found a film and turned it over to police, who were able to get it developed. The photos show the victim being sexually abused and tortured by the suspect. Police say Heinsen tried to block his image on the film, but his family was able to identify him and their kitchen.

Police were able to locate the victim and her family, who have since moved.

The mother of the victim, who 24 Hour News 8 is identifying only as Tonya to protect the identity of the victim, said she is relieved that Heinsen is now is now facing justice.

But he can’t be charged with torturing her daughter — even though prosecutors say there is photographic proof — because it occurred so long ago. Tonya said she wants to get the statute of limitations eliminated for crimes like torture, especially for children with special needs.

“I guess I’m just looking to protect others. The damage has been done to my family. I just want to protect others,” Tonya said. “I don’t want to see any other family to go through what my family has gone through with this man.”

“You can’t imagine what it feels like for me as a parent to know that I let this happen to my daughter and that I didn’t stop it,” she continued.

Federal and local authorities are working to identify the kids in the pornography on Heinsen’s computer. The Barry County Prosecutor’s Office and Nashville Police Department are asking for the public’s help finding other potential victims.

“These children are exploited over and over and over again, and we just want to bring attention to it. We want to stop it. And we want to make sure Mr. Heinsen gets what he deserves,” Barry County Prosecutor Julie Nakfoor Pratt said.

Nashville Police Chief Chris Koster stated in his 30-plus years of law enforcement, this is the worst case he has ever investigated due to the magnitude of evidence and the nature of the images.

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