After being on the run for nearly 10 years, a father who repeatedly raped his daughter over a long period of time has finally been convicted.
Frank Hertel, 51, was sentenced to 19 to 95 years in prison by Ohio’s Delaware County Common Pleas Court after he pleaded guilty to rape and gross sexual imposition. His daughter Heather Orr, now 31 years old, started being raped by Hertel when she was just three years old. According to Orr’s claims, her father said he was “teaching her how to express love.”
After years of abuse, Hertel was finally arrested and set to go to trial when Orr was 18. Just days before the trial, Hertel, Orr’s mother Judy, and Orr’s brother were able to flee to Germany. Reports claim that the couple lived using fake identities and ran a bar and grill.
For years, Orr, who was now left alone, struggled to have a normal life. In 2009, after years of building up the courage to search for her father, Orr decided to run an Internet search for him. When she typed her father’s name into Google, she found an article about her grandfather being arrested and charged with $1.2 million in tax fraud. She decided to contact some of the people who commented in the article, and eventually, she was able to discover the location where her father was hiding in Germany. He was captured shortly after.
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Now, Hertel will likely spend the rest of his life in jail. During court proceedings, Hertel told the judge that he was sorry for what he did.
“It's not the life that I wanted my daughter to have,” said Hertel. “I wanted her life to be perfect."
Orr says that every new day is a struggle to be happy.
"I have lost my entire family," said Orr. "I often wonder, if I hadn't found him, what would have happened."
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The woman, now a married mother, says she is planning to write a book about her lifelong hardships.