An Ellington man and Manchester hotel owner who was accused of having a “sex dungeon” has been sentenced to nearly 29 years in federal prison for child exploitation offenses.
Federal officials said Simon Hessler, 48, had been communicating with an undercover state police detective and told the detective that he had a sex dungeon on the top floor of his office building and it had a cage, stocks, handcuffs, whips and other devices, federal officials said.
Hessler was accused of offering to pay the detective $500 for two-days of “slave training” and “limitless sex” with a 12-year-old “DCF child.” Once the detective agreed to the “sale,” Hessler requested that the “DCF child” be left in a trailer near a hotel he operated in Manchester, and told the detective to send him a picture of the child gagged, blindfolded and handcuffed before he would reveal the location of the cash payment, according to federal officials.
The detective sent Hessler a photo of an image that appeared to be a child bound on the floor of a trailer and Hessler revealed the location of the money, federal officials said.
Hessler was arrested on Nov. 13, 2018 after he got out of his car and started walking toward the trailer.
According to the US Attorney’s office, Hessler “engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a minor female” between July 2016 and November 2018 and used a cell phone to take images, which he kept on a USB drive. Investigators said the victim was under 12 at the time.
Investigators said the USB also contained hundreds of other images and videos of suspected child pornography.
Hessler has in state custody since he was arrested and on Dec. 11, he pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of production of child pornography.
Hessler also was charged in the Hartford Judicial District and the Tolland Judicial District with related state offenses.
On Dec. 17, he pleaded guilty to several of those offenses, including two counts of sex assault in the fourth degree, two counts of risk of injury, and multiple counts related to his attempt to commit commercial sex abuse of a minor under the age of 13, unlawful restraint and attempt to commit intentional cruelty, according to federal officials.
Hessler is expected to be sentenced to 30 years of incarceration for the state offenses, federal officials said.
Officials previously said Hessler owned and managed the Baymont Inn and Suites in Manchester. Hessler also said he'd been doing the "training of slaves" for over 20 years and had customers all over from New York City to Boston, according to the documents.
Hessler was sentenced to nearly 29 years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release.