Former Homeland Security police officer jailed on multiple sex assault charges

A former Department of Homeland Security law enforcement officer is accused of sexually assaulting three women in Anchorage between 2012 and 2018.

Fifty-year-old Bert Christopher Heitstuman faces seven counts of second-degree sexual assault and two counts of second-degree attempted sexual assault.

Five of the assaults stem from conduct that happened when Heitstuman worked as a Department of Homeland Security law enforcement officer, according to a press release from the state Department of Law.

RELATED: Lawsuit claims Homeland Security officer sexually assaulted woman at Anchorage Museum in 2017

Several of the alleged assaults occurred at the Anchorage federal building, according to the indictment. In one of the criminal counts, Heitstuman is accused of grabbing the woman’s throat while putting his fingers inside the waistline of the front of her pants.

“If you come after me, I’ll come after you,” he said, according to the indictment.

Police arrested Heitstuman on Thursday.

The indictment comes about six months after a woman filed a lawsuit against Heitstuman and the Department of Homeland Security, alleging Heitstuman sexually assaulted her multiple times in 2017 at the Anchorage Museum, where she worked for a private security company.

The lawsuit alleges the Department of Homeland Security had ignored complaints prior to the 2017 assaults about Heitstuman acting in a sexually inappropriate manner with members of the public.

In a 2017 hearing seeking a protective order against Heitstuman, the woman said she had told police about the assaults, which Anchorage police confirmed in August 2020. At the hearing, Heitstuman denied the allegations and said all of his interactions with the woman had been consensual.

No charges were filed at the time.

According to the Department of Law, Heitstuman’s recent indictment was the result of a multi-year investigation by the FBI and Anchorage police.

Heitstuman was jailed and held on $11,000 cash bail. He faces up to 99 years in prison if convicted.