Florida man who flew to Philadelphia, molested 12-year-old girl sentenced to 15 years in prison

A Florida man who flew to Philadelphia to molest a 12-year-old girl he met online was sentenced to 15 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release Thursday.

Prosecutors say 23-year-old Liam Heim used the Discord app to meet a 12-year-old girl from southern New Jersey in 2018. Heim is said to have convinced the girl that they were in a romantic relationship and arranged to meet in person so Heim could sexually assault the minor. 

In late Mar. 2018, investigators say Heim flew from Florida to Philadelphia and took the girl to a hotel near the airport. There, Heim sexually assaulted the girl several times over a 36-hour period. 

Investigators found the girl, who was reported missing by her parents, at the hotel with Heim. Authorities arrested Heim and charged him with kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a child.

Heim eventually plead guilty to additional charges of traveling to engage in illicit sexual contact with a minor and transportation of a minor with intent to engage in unlawful sexual activity.

"There can be no doubt that our children and our community are safer now that this defendant is off the street,"  We stand ready with our federal and local partners to identify and prosecute all those who would prey upon minor children.” First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said.