TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – A former Tarrant County Sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to the maximum time in prison for sexually assaulting a teenage girl.

It took jurors less than 20 minutes to sentence Jonathan Lewis Helm, 41, to 30 years in prison after convicting him on one count of sexual assault and one count of prohibited sexual contact.

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Prosecutors presented evidence that Helm impregnated a 16-year-old relative, who gave birth to a baby girl in August 2011.  The teenager initially claimed the baby’s father was a high school classmate.  She later admitted Helm was the father, and DNA tests confirmed it.

The teen, who is now 19, has not been cooperative with police and did not originally show up for court.  When she was located in Georgia and brought to testify in the trial, she said Helm had sex with her one time.  She previously said the abuse happened numerous times.

Helm took the stand in his own defense and also testified that he only had sex with the teen one time, at a Thanksgiving gathering in 2010.  He said he resigned from the Sheriff’s Department and moved to Georgia to avoid embarrassment.

“Johnathan Helm was a warrant officer whose sworn duty was to arrest felons,” said Prosecutor Mark Thielman. “He was, meanwhile, engaging in the same criminal behavior. This was an outrageous breach of the law and professional conduct. The Sheriff’s Department, Fort Worth Police Department and Georgia authorities were a tremendous help in prosecuting and bringing this case to justice.”

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Jurors handed down the maximum sentence and the judge decided the sentences should be served one after the other, bringing the total punishment to 30 years in prison.

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