DETROIT – A former University of Michigan doctor was sentenced today to 10 years in prison on child exploitation charges, announced United States Attorney Matthew Schneider.
Schneider was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Steve Francis, Department of Homeland Security Investigation (HSI).
Sentenced was Mark Hoeltzel, 47, of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Hoeltzel pleaded guilty on September 13, 2018 before U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow to online enticement of a minor.
According to court records, in 2017, Hoeltzel, a pediatric rheumatoid arthritis doctor, created a Facebook account for a fictitious teenage boy and used this persona to engage in online conversations with numerous minor girls across the country. During these conversations, Hoeltzel was able to convince the minor girls to produce child pornography.
“The Department of Justice is committed to the safety and well-being of the most vulnerable members of our society – our children,” stated United States Attorney Matthew Schneider. “This defendant pretended to be a teenage boy in order to sexually exploit minors, many the same age as the patients he treated.”
"The sentencing handed down in this case reflects the serious nature of the crimes committed, which are particularly troubling given the defendant's role in the community as a physician,'" said Steve Francis. “Mr. Hoeltzel abandoned his oath to "do no harm" and instead sought opportunities to harm and exploit innocent children. This case shows that HSI is committed to investigating child predators regardless of the positions they hold in society.”
This case was investigated by agents of the HSI and detectives from the University of Michigan Police Department, Special Victims Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Woodward prosecuted the case.