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A SCOTS university lecturer faces 15 years in jail after an FBI sting exposed him as a child sex beast.

Dr David Steinheimer, 38, sent sexually explicit e-mails, including pornographic photos of himself, to a 13-year-old American he had befriended on-line.

But the 'boy' was really an undercover FBI agent and officers pounced on the Aberdeen University historian when he went to the States to abuse his pen-pal.

Last night, the US prosecutor who handled the case warned the twisted academic may have abused children in Scotland.

Assistant US Attorney Daniel C Rodriguez said: "The fact Steinheimer travelled from Scotland to meet a boy in the US would suggest to me that this was not his first time."

Steinheimer even spoke to the 'boy' on the phone to check he was genuine. But a female FBI agent posed as the lad during the taped phone calls.

When Steinheimer arrived to meet him at the Circuit City electrical store in Houston, Texas, he was immediately arrested.

The evidence against him was so overwhelming, he pleaded guilty and is being held in a Texas federal prison awaiting sentence.

Steinheimer admitted six separate charges, including using the internet to induce an individual under 18 into sexual activity.

Judge Melinda Harmon will sentence the Illinois-born pervert, who is married to a Scot, at the end of April.

Attorney Rodriguez said yesterday Steinheimer, of Elmbank Terrace, Aberdeen, had been snared by an FBI task force operation.

Rodriguez said: "He's been convicted of communicating with an individual he thought was a male of 13 years of age.

"He travelled from Aberdeen with the intention to meet him and have sex."

He said the FBI had placed an internet advert asking for pen-pals for a 13-year-old boy in Texas and Steinheimer responded to that.

He went on: "Steinheimer e-mailed and transmitted child pornography. He also e-mailed pictures of himself of a sexual nature.

"He's now facing up to 15 years in jail and a fine up to $250,000 (about pounds 175,000)."

Rodriguez said he rated e-mail perverts like Steinheimer as a greater threat than child porn users because they actively sought contact with children.

He added: "The police in Scotland may wish to consider whether there are any victims there."

Steinheimer's wife, Donna, is originally from Glasgow, but, up until his arrest, they were sharing a home in the grounds of Glen Elgin Distillery, near Elgin, Moray.

He used his flat in Aberdeen during the week.

His colleagues and friends did not know why he failed to return from America. One said: "This will come as a shock to everyone. You have to feel sorry for his wife."

It is not known if Donna, who works in a laboratory at the Rose Isle Maltings plant near Elgin, is still in contact with Steinheimer.

She was last night away from home and understood to be with family in Glasgow.
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 11, 2001
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