Bucks County Herald

New Britain man sentenced to state prison for child pornography offenses


A New Britain Borough man convicted twice of possessing child pornography was sentenced Friday, Sept. 7, to serve eight and one-half to 17 years in state prison, the bucks County District Attorney’s Office said.

Thomas Heck, 60, of the 200 block of Evergreen Drive, was found guilty June 4, of felony possession of child pornography after a non-jury trial before Bucks County Common Pleas Court Judge Rea B. Boylan.

It was Heck’s second conviction for the same crime, the DA’s office said. In March 2014, Bucks County President Judge Jeffrey L. Finley had placed him on five years of probation after Heck pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography.

While serving that earlier sentence, Heck was caught again, this time by his probation officer. During a scheduled visit of his residence last October, the officer saw images of naked or partially clothed children on Heck’s cell phone and confiscated it, according to the DA’s office.

A court-approved search of the phone by the Computer Forensics Unit of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office revealed more than 50 images of child pornography.

Heck was arrested Oct. 23, 2017, and has been in custody ever since.

In return for Heck’s agreement to forfeit his right to appeal, Deputy District Attorney Matthew S. Lannetti and Assistant Public Defender William D. Oetinger negotiated a recommended sentence of five to 10 years for the most recent conviction.

Lannetti and Oetinger also agreed that Heck’s probation from his initial conviction be revoked, and that he be sentenced to serve a consecutive three and one-half to seven years in prison, for a total of eight and one-half to 17 years.

Lannetti said the agreement was made with the further understanding that the District Attorney’s Office would object to the state parole board releasing Heck before he had served at least 10 years behind bars.

Boylan accepted the terms of the negotiation, imposed the sentence and ordered that Heck undergo sex offender treatment in prison.

Heck also will be required for the rest of his life to register as a sex offender with state police.

The case was investigated by the Central Bucks Regional Police Department.


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