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Father who raped daughter since was 3 years old then fled to Europe is finally convicted

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  • Frank K.C. Hertel and his wife fled Arizona before the trial and lived a secret life in Germany
  • His daughter and victim Heather Orr tracked Hertel down to a bar he was running after seeing a news article about her grandfather being arrested
  • Hertel sobbed an apology to his daughter Heather Orr at his sentencing in an Ohio court on Tuesday
  • Mrs Orr, 31, told the court: 'I love my dad because he's my dad but he hurt me more than anyone could imagine'
  • Her husband Daniel Orr told the court his wife 'had lost her childhood' and begged the judge to send Hertel away for a long time
  • Hertel sentenced to up to 95 years in prison and will not be up for parole for 20 years

By Louise Boyle

PUBLISHED: 16:48 EST, 6 March 2014 | UPDATED: 17:14 EST, 6 March 2014

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A father who fled the U.S. before he could face trial for molesting his daughter has finally been sentenced in central Ohio after she tracked him down.

Frank K.C. Hertel and his wife Judy, the girl's mother, fled Arizona before his trial in 2000 and lived a secret life in Germany for nine years before his adult daughter Heather Orr tracked him down in 2009.

Hertel had used his brother's identity to take loans from the German government and run a bar and grill. They refused to allow Mrs Orr's brother to contact her.

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Frank Hertel, 51, fled to Germany with his wife before he could be tried in 2000 for raping his daughter from the age of three

Frank Hertel, 51, fled to Germany with his wife before he could be tried in 2000 for raping his daughter from the age of three

Heather Orr has revealed her identity saying that she wanted to give a face and a name to victims of rape

Heather Orr has revealed her identity saying that she wanted to give a face and a name to victims of rape

The rapist father sobbed in court as he turned to face daughter Heather (pictured right) and apologize

The rapist father sobbed in court as he turned to face daughter Heather (pictured right) and apologize

The pedophile was finally captured thanks to the detective work of Mrs Orr herself.

Mertel was extradited to the U.S. in 2009 after his daughter who he abused tracked him down running a bar in Germany

Mertel was extradited to the U.S. in 2009 after his daughter who he abused tracked him down running a bar in Germany

In 2009, she typed her abusive father's name into Google and found a news article about her grandfather, who shares the same name, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Hertel Senior had been arrested on tax evasion at Heathrow Airport in London after he allegedly owed $1.2million to the Canadian government.

Comments had been made about the Hertel family at the bottom of the article and Mrs Orr contacted people by email to see if they knew more about her father.

A website for a bar and grill revealed that her father was the owner and someone sent her a picture of her brother standing outside the business. 

Hertel was extradited back to the United States in 2009, and in 2012 he was convicted in Arizona and sentenced to 20 years for child molestation.

On Tuesday, the 51-year-old Hertel was sentenced to serve between 19 and 95 years in prison for assaulting his daughter during their time in Ohio. He pleaded guilty to the charges. 

Hertel admitted in court that between 1993 and 1995, he raped and molested a female relative under the age of 13, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Hertel doubles up sobbing in court as he was sentenced to 19 to 95years in jail for raping his daughter. It will be 20 years before he is up for parole

Hertel doubles up sobbing in court as he was sentenced to 19 to 95years in jail for raping his daughter. It will be 20 years before he is up for parole

Hertel moved his family to Arizona where he continued to abuse his daughter. He was charged and found guilty in 2001 of the crimes but fled the country.

Before he was sentenced, the judge allowed Hertel a chance to speak before the Delaware court.

Rising to his feet, he faced his daughter and in a high-pitched wail, sobbed: 'I'm terrible sorry' adding that he wanted his victim to have 'closure'.

Mrs Orr, 31, who is married and has an 11-year-old daughter, faced her abuser in court and revealed her identity.

Heather Orr was comforted by her husband Daniel in court, who called his wife a 'hero not a victim'

Heather Orr was comforted by her husband Daniel in court, who called his wife a 'hero not a victim'

She said: 'I wish more than anything that a stranger did this to me. I love my dad because he's my dad but he hurt me more than anyone could imagine.'

She added that she now has an 11-year-old daughter, the age she was when the sexual abuse she suffered was at its worst.

Mrs Orr's testimony to the court was interrupted by Hertel's cries of 'I'm so sorry Heather.'

The married mother said that the only thing her father was remorseful about was being caught and sent to prison. Mertel will spend decades in jail for the molestation of his daughter which began when she was just three years old

Mertel will spend decades in jail for the molestation of his daughter which began when she was just three years old

Mrs Orr's husband Daniel described his wife as a 'hero, not a victim' and took the stand to ask the judge to put Hertel away for a very long time.

He said: 'She lost her childhood. She should never have had to face anything that she faced.'

Outside of the courtroom Mrs Orr told NBC4: 'I want to give a face and a name to women, I want them to stand up and say this is not right what is happening to children and women who are abused.'

Hertel pleaded guilty to three counts of rape and two counts of gross sexual imposition in Delaware, north of Columbus.

He faces 19 to 95 years in prison. It will be 20 years before he is up for parole.

WCMH: News, Weather, and Sports for Columbus, Ohio
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