Former DHS officer indicted on sexual assault charges in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A former Department of Homeland Security officer is accused of sexually assaulting three women over a six-year period, an Alaska district attorney announced Friday.

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Bert Christopher Heitstuman, 50, was indicted on seven counts of sexual assault in the second degree and attempted sexual assault in the second degree, Anchorage District Attorney Brittany Dunlop said in a news release. Heitstuman was indicted by a grand jury in a criminal superior court in Anchorage, the Juneau Empire reported.

Heitstuman was arrested Thursday and is being held on an $11,000 cash-only bond, the Alaska Department of Law said in a news release.

If convicted, Heitstuman could face up to 99 years in prison, the Empire reported.

The indictment is the culmination of a multiyear investigation by the Anchorage Police Department and the FBI, with assistance from the Department of Law and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska, according to the Department of Law.

Heitstuman is accused of sexually assaulting three women between 2012 and 2018, according to the department news release.

Five of the seven charges occurred during the time Heitstuman was employed in the Federal Protective Service as a law enforcement specialist, according to the Department of Law. All of the alleged offenses occurred in Anchorage.

One of the victims, a former security guard, accused Heitstuman of sexual assault at the Anchorage Museum in 2017, KTOO reported. Her allegations were contained in a federal lawsuit filed on Aug. 26, 2020, according to the television station.

The woman, whose name has not been released, asked a judge for a restraining order against Heitstuman, KTOO reported. The woman accused Heitstuman of two sexual assaults in her office at the museum, followed by harassment and intimidation.

“You won’t tell your story more than once,” the woman said Heitstuman told her, in the 2017 application for the protective order.

Heitstuman denied the allegations, calling them “slanderous,” adding that his interactions with the woman had been consensual, KTOO reported.