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Investigators say up to 5,000 child pornography images found on former deputy’s phone

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Daniel Heintz was terminated as a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy on Friday. He beforehand labored on the Franklin County Jail.

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ohio — A deputy with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Workplace was terminated Friday after he was charged in a federal youngster pornography case.

The official felony fees towards Daniel Heintz have been filed in U.S. District Courtroom on Wednesday. They embody one rely of promoting for visible depictions of minors engaged in sexually specific conduct and one rely of receipt of visible depictions of minors engaged in sexually specific conduct.

On Friday morning, Heintz appeared just about for a detention listening to. His father testified that he would act as a third-party custodian, permitting his son to stay on home arrest at his house pending his trial.

Prosecutors argued the load of the proof towards Heintz and the potential hazard to the group was to nice to permit for that, asking as a substitute that the decide maintain Heintz in detention.

It was additionally revealed through the federal court docket listening to that investigators say they discovered between 4,000 and 5,000 photos of kid pornography on Heintz’s telephone. These photos included bondage of pre-pubescent and toddler-age youngsters, together with bestiality, and sexual abuse of youngsters youthful than 10. On the time fees have been filed, the photographs investigators say they discovered numbered within the a whole bunch.

The affidavit additionally revealed disturbing details about youngsters Heintz might have come into contact with in individual. Prosecutors stated Friday that three youngsters in query have been examined and interviewed, and there was no proof that that they had been bodily abused.

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Steve Nolder, the lawyer for Heintz, informed 10TV the household is doing what it could actually to help Heintz whereas processing the costs.

“They’re shocked, they’ll’t consider it, they don’t need to consider it, however they’ve to come back to grips with it, and they’re attempting to try this,” Nolder stated.

On the finish of the listening to, Justice of the Peace Choose Kimberly Jolson ordered that Heintz stays in jail with out bond pending his trial.

Previous to his termination, Heintz was a non-certified deputy on the Franklin County Jail, that means he couldn’t carry a weapon or be on patrol. He was employed in 2007.
Heintz was initially positioned on administrative go away by Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin on Feb. 11.

“Whereas everybody arrested is presumed harmless, somebody charged with a felony loses the privilege of working for the folks of Franklin County,” Baldwin wrote in an emailed assertion earlier this month.

In accordance with court docket data, an investigation began with the arrest of a unique man in August in Illinois.

Whereas looking that individual’s Kik account, federal investigators discovered earlier messages between the arrested suspect and one other consumer, who was later recognized as Heintz.

Officers in Illinois additionally received permission to take over the suspect’s account to proceed communication with Heintz whereas posing because the Illinois suspect.

Courtroom paperwork present that, throughout these conversations in August 2020, Heintz and the Illinois suspect mentioned their mutual sexual curiosity in youngsters and the potential for Heintz taking a nude picture of an unidentified minor feminine. In addition they exchanged photos of themselves and recordsdata of pornography, together with youngster pornography.

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Throughout these conversations, Heintz additionally indicated that he would “love to observe” the Illinois suspect rape a toddler, based on the paperwork.

On Jan. 2, Kik responded to an emergency disclosure request for Heintz’s account. An administrative subpoena was then served to AT&T for additional figuring out info. That’s what led investigators down the trail of confirming Heintz’s identification.

On Feb. 10, search warrants have been obtained, they usually have been served the next day, together with at Heintz’s house and office, the Franklin County Jail. Heintz’s telephone and different electronics have been seized.

Courtroom paperwork present the searches have yielded tens of 1000’s of photos, which included nude pictures and sexual exercise amongst minors. A lot of these pictures have been allegedly exchanged through Kik.

“It’s very nameless, and when you could have adults that use it, you may’t confirm their age and their identification both, and so that is actually interesting to youngster predators,” stated Jeffrey Blevins, professor and head of journalism on the College of Cincinnati.

Blevins has been finding out social media apps for roughly 10 years. He has seen the hazards to youngsters and the legal exercise that has been tied to apps, together with Kik.

“It’s problematic,” he stated. “The expertise not solely lends itself to this, but it surely’s very troublesome for the federal government to have actually any sort of efficient interdiction. , as a result of these exist worldwide, anonymity is very easy to determine, however there’s additionally very broad protections put into the regulation.”

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Kik requires solely an e mail deal with to determine an account, not a telephone quantity. And, whereas customers are required to be 13, that may be arduous to confirm.

Blevins additionally factors out that Part 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects social media firms from civil legal responsibility for third-party content material.

“Until we’re going to noticeably revisit the regulation right here, I feel that is going to be one thing that’s going to persist, and educating ourselves and being self-aware is actually the one protection that we now have,” he stated.

10TV reached out to Kik for touch upon Wednesday and had but to listen to again by Friday night.

The native chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police stated in a written assertion, “The FOP has been made conscious that Federal fees have been filed towards a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy. The FOP will not be aware of the small print of this legal investigation; nonetheless, if he’s discovered responsible of those offenses then we’ll take swift motion in eradicating him from membership. The Fraternal Order of Police doesn’t tolerate one of these conduct.”

A preliminary listening to for Heintz is scheduled for March 10.

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