DENVER (CBS4) – An infamous convicted sex offender is starting his first full week of prison where he’s been sent for the rest of his life.
A Douglas County judge slammed Richard Heeringa, 57, with a sentence of almost 600 years last week.
Heeringa has been convicted of 17 counts of sexual assault on a child and failing to register as a sex offender. However, he fled to Michigan just before sentencing.
Police caught up with Heeringa and he was captured in Detroit late last year after someone spotted him on the TV show America’s Most Wanted.
Heeringa’s victim was the daughter of his ex-wife. The daughter was 12 when he began to abuse her for almost three years.
“When I would have friends and his family, he would come in at night when everyone was sleeping, so it would happen every day and every night,” Heeringa’s victim told CBS4. “I (would scream) many times, but he would cover my mouth or tell me to shut up.”
The abuse began in 2005, soon after Heeringa reconnected with his former wife. Initially he treated her 12-year-old like a loving father.
“He’d always take us places and be the fun dad that paid for everything and took us to Elitches,” the victim said.
The teenager says his threats to kill her mother and her pets kept her from talking until she wrote a letter to her mother explaining what happened. Her message to girls in a similar situation is to speak up the moment the new man in your mother’s life engages in inappropriate touching.