A Tarrant County jury sentenced a former Tarrant County deputy sheriff to 30 years in prison for impregnating his 16-year-old relative.
Johnathan Lewis Helm, 41, was convicted Wednesday on one count of sexual assault of a child under 17 and one count of prohibited sexual conduct, according to a news release from the Tarrant County district attorney’s office.
State District Judge Mike Thomas granted prosecutors Mark Thielman and Kevin Boneberg’s request that the two sentences be served consecutively. Helm must serve 10 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole.
“Johnathan Helm was a warrant officer whose sworn duty was to arrest felons,” Thielman stated according to the release. “He was, meanwhile, engaging in the same criminal behavior. This was an outrageous breach of the law and professional conduct.”
Helm took the stand in his own defense and testified that he resigned his position in the warrant division and moved to Georgia after allegations surfaced that he got a teen pregnant. Helm also testified that he violated the girl during a Thanksgiving gathering in 2010 in Oklahoma while he was drunk.
The girl, who is now 19, initially said that baby’s father was a high school boy, but later she admitted that Helm was the father, the release said. The girl gave birth to a female baby at a Fort Worth hospital on Aug. 24, 2011 and DNA testing subsequently proved that Helm was the biological father.
The teen mother initially claimed that there were numerous occasions of abuse but testified this week that the abuse occurred only once. The teen failed to show up in court and was located in Georgia by authorities who returned her to Fort Worth, the release said.
The baby was adopted shortly after its birth, the release said.