Lifestyle & Belief

Richard Heeringa: Child molester laughs at judge, gets 576 years in prison (VIDEO)


Richard Heeringa, 55, was sentenced on April 12, 2012, to 576 years in prison on 17 counts of sexually assaulting a child.


US Marshals

Richard Heeringa, 55, was sentenced on Thursday to 576 years in prison on 17 counts of sexually assaulting a child, reported the Huffington Post. Heeringa declined to speak during his hearing, but clearly found the proceedings humorous. He laughed at Judge Paul King as his sentence was read, who then said, "If you're laughing now, stay tuned. You deserve every century that I'm going to give you."

According to local news outlet the Denver Westword, Heeringa was found guilty on the 17 charges of sexual assault on a child by a person of trust and on failing to register as a sex offender during his Michigan trial in April 2010. The same day the jury reached its guilty verdict, Heeringa fled in the middle of the night.

Heeringa wasn't seen again until his arrest in Detroit in November 2011. A local citizen tipped off police to his whereabouts, according to CNN. He had been living in a Detroit home for about a year under the alias Tim Thurman.

A press release from the US Marshals said Heeringa has two other sex assault cases pending in Colorado and previously served 12 years in prison in Michigan following a sex assault conviction there. He had been on the division's Top 15 Most Wanted list.

The press release goes on to state that in 2004, Heeringa was released from prison and met a single mother from Colorado. By 2005, he was living with the mother and her then 12-year-old daughter, who he began sexually abusing. Heeringa allegedly continued to abuse her until January 2008, when the daughter came forward about the abuse.

More from GlobalPost: Los Angeles teacher Mark Berndt charged with molesting 23 children