Victim Says Danny Heinrich's Abuse 'Defined Me in Many Ways'

Jared Scheierl gave a victim impact statement during Danny Heinrich's sentencing hearing. Photo: KSTP/Cedric Hohnstadt
Jared Scheierl gave a victim impact statement during Danny Heinrich's sentencing hearing.

November 29, 2018 10:58 AM

A man who was sexually assaulted as a boy by the same man who abducted and killed 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling finally had a chance to face his abuser Monday.

Back in September, 53-year-old Danny Heinrich admitted to abducting and sexually-assaulting Jared Scheierl in 1989.


In his confession, Heinrich said he was driving around town “looking for a child” when he came upon the 12-year-old Scheierl. Heinrich said he grabbed Scheierl, put him in his car and took off down a gravel road. He said he got in the back seat with Scheierl.

Heinrich said he sexually assaulted Scheierl, threatening to kill him. After the assault, Heinrich said he kept Scheierl’s pants and underwear as a “souvenir.” He told Scheierl to run and not look back or he would kill him.

Scheierl’s sexual assault was long suspected to be connected to Jacob’s disappearance. Scheierl had talked publicly about his case in hopes it could help investigators find his attacker and Jacob's.

On Monday, Scheierl finally had a chance to face his abuser as Heinrich was sentenced to 20 years in prison on a child pornography charge, saying he “thought this day may never come, but it’s here.”

READ: Jacob Wetterling’s Confessed Killer 'Truly Sorry for Evil Acts'

Scheierl said that night in 1989 left him to “deal with a lot of emotions and try to seek clarity in my own life.”

“I’ve met a lot of amazing people along the way as well and am grateful for those people who have come into my life and given me support and reassurance that I need to maintain a normal life,” Scheierl said.

Scheierl said he chooses to recognize the blessings in life and that he has gone through life “having few regrets” about the decisions he has made.

“Today, this is one more step in gaining closure on an instant in my life that has defined me in many ways,” Scheierl said.

Scheierl also said that although Heinrich had a statement to make in court, he would not stay in the courtroom to hear it because “the words he spoke to me on that evening haunted me for years.”

It wasn’t until the very end of his statement that Scheierl finally looked over at his abuser.

“On a final note, I would simply like to say to him, there’s nothing common about common sense,” Scheierl said, finally looking at Heinrich for the first time. “I wish you had more common sense.”

Read the sentencing transcript here


Jennie Lissarrague

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