WENATCHEE — A 54-year-old Peshastin man faces at least 12 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing three children between 2007 and 2015.

Theron Jay Heideman pleaded guilty Thursday in Chelan County Superior Court to three counts of first-degree rape of a child. In his guilty plea, Heideman admitted to sexually abusing three children under the age of 12.

Heideman and Chelan County prosecutors agreed to a sentence of 189 months, or 15.75 years, in prison with credit for time served.

He’s been held at the Chelan County Regional Justice Center since March 2017 — 43 months — and with that factored into his sentence would spend 12 years in prison.

However, Prosecutor Doug Shae clarified that the sentence is indeterminate and no matter the length of sentence, Heideman won’t be released from prison without approval from the state Department of Corrections Indeterminate Sentence Review Board, which determines if he’s fit to rejoin society.

Ultimately, 12 years would actually be a minimum sentence, Shae said. The maximum is life.

Heideman is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 17 in Superior Court.

Prior to pleading guilty, Heideman was charged with four counts of first-degree child rape, two counts of second-degree child rape, three counts of first-degree child molestation, four counts of first-degree incest and one count of second-degree incest.

His victims, who are family members, made allegations of abuse between 1999 and 2009 to the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office and state Child Protective Services. None of the investigations at that time resulted in criminal charges or a CPS intervention.

Three of his adult children sued the state Department of Social and Health Services on the grounds that their claims were ignored. They were awarded $2.5 million in 2018 in Douglas County Superior Court.

Pete O’Cain: 664-7152

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