Track Coach Convicted of Sex Abuse in Case Involving Student Athlete

Washington Co. District Attorney's Office - 01/22/19 

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On January 18, 2018, Branden Michael Helms was convicted of Second Degree Sex Abuse by a Coach. He was sentenced to 13 months in prison. The case against Helms was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Chris Lewman and was overseen by Judge Janelle Wipper.

The investigation into Helms began in June of 2018 after the 16-year-old victim’s mother witnessed inappropriate contact between her daughter and Helms. Helms, who was 25-years-old, was working as an assistant track coach at Sunset High School at the time. The victim was a student athlete and was being coached by Helms.

Detective Madalyn Brown of the Beaverton Police Department soon took over the investigation. With permission from the victim and her parents, Detective Brown began scouring the victim’s cell phone for digital evidence. She found extensive text message conversations between the victim and Helms, many of which were sexual in nature. Detective Brown also determined that the victim and Helms met in person at least four times and participated in various degrees of sexual contact during those meetings.

Helms first denied any wrongdoing, until Detective Brown confronted him with video and photos he sent to the victim. In those videos, Helms’ face and genitals are clearly visible. Once Helms saw this evidence against him, he hung his head and admitted to engaging in the sexual contact with the child. He also admitted to sending the lewd photos and videos to the girl.

“We want the public to know that we take cases involving abuse by an adult in a position of trust very seriously,” Lewman said. “This man used his role as a coach to groom and take advantage of the victim. A 16-year-old is not able to consent to this type of behavior, our children must be protected from predators like Helms.”

Helms was relieved of his duties at Sunset High School. Investigators do not believe there are any other victims. He was sentenced to 13 months in prison with five years of post-prison supervision less time served. He was ordered to register as a sex offender and the court recommended no contact with minors, internet and computer restrictions, and sex offender treatment as conditions of post-prison supervision.