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Ex-Longview officer sentenced for child sex

By Glenn Evans
May 16, 2017 at 4:16 p.m.
Updated May 16, 2017 at 6:06 p.m.

Former police officer Michael Healy during his trial for child indecency charges, on Tuesday May 16, 2017, in the 188th District Court at the Gregg County Courthouse. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

A former Longview police officer who was sexually abusing his son and other relatives during his 18 years with the department will appeal the maximum 30-year sentence he was handed Tuesday.

Testimony during the punishment hearing of Michael Patrick Healy, 68, indicated the Longview man sexually abused his now-grown son and at least three other boys, two of them the son’s cousins, over three decades.

“I can’t read anymore,” Assistant District Attorney Madison Hood told District Judge David Brabham as she stopped reading a child porn book that was found in 1999 in Healy’s Longview Police Department desk drawer by his partner.

The passage she read was about a young man molesting an underage cousin who had come to stay for the summer.

Hood had alerted the gallery, which included some of Healy’s victims, of the story’s graphic nature. She did not exaggerate, and she did not finish.

“The story’s not over,” she said. “There’s 40 more stories like this in here. This was in 1999 — what do you think has been going on for the last 18 years?”

Healy pleaded guilty Friday to two of several child molestation charges on which he was indicted. Those are indecency with a child by sexual contact and attempted indecency with a child by sexual contact.

They carry respective maximum prison terms of 20 and 10 years, and Hood asked the judge to issue the maximums on both.

Not only did Brabham oblige, he stacked the sentences. Judges across the state routinely order multiple prison terms to be served concurrently, which in this case would have given Healy a maximum of 20 years.

“He abused four victims, that we know of, over a period of about 30 years,” Hood told Brabham in asking for the 30-year term.

Healy was on the Longview police force from 1981 to 1999, and during at least part of that span was the department spokesman and portrayed McGruff the Crime Dog in elementary school visits and public events.

A former Navy pilot, Healy flew a helicopter for the Pasadena Police Department after leaving Longview.

Brabham took perhaps a minute to pronounced the maximum penalty.

“The two sentences will run consecutively,” Brabham said. “That is, not at the same time — not concurrently.”

Defense Attorney Richard Hurlburt told Brabham that Healy planned to appeal the sentence, and Brabham appointed attorney Lou Dunn to handle the appeal.

On Tuesday, Hurlburt brought a minister from the Celebrate Recovery addiction resistance program, who said Healy was devoted to his recovery plan. A local employer also testified he would hire Healy, and his new wife said she would stay by his side.

Video testimony and that of Audrey Wright, a detective on the Longview police’s Crimes Against Children unit, indicated Healy had molested the main victim during baths, showers and in bed as the boy grew up.

The man, now 33, broke the case by sending the police department a Facebook message revealing his father’s actions and asking how to pursue charges.

“Almost every shower I took as a child was with him,” the man told Wright in a video shown in court Tuesday. “He always took extra time to wash my (genitals).”

The man told Wright that Healy often performed sex acts on him or had him perform them on Healy as the family lived in a series of Longview homes.

The acts occurred from when the man was 3 or 4 years old until he was 12.

“I tried to forgive him,” he told Wright. “I tried to hold onto all the good memories.”

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