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A former Michigan deputy charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy he was assigned to mentor has been sentenced to six months in jail, prosecutors said.
Brian William Helfert was sentenced Friday after previously pleading guilty to attempted accosting for immoral purposes, Menominee County Prosecutor Jeffrey Rogg said.
He was accused of sexually assaulting the teen between 2016 and 2019 after meeting him in his capacity as school liaison deputy for Menominee Area Public Schools.
Helfert, 57, was initially charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct — and faced up to 15 years in prison on each if convicted — but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge as a part of a plea deal, Rogg said.
“They knew each other informally,” Rogg told The Post Monday. “And at one point, the [Menominee County] probate court requested that he act as a mentor to the child.”
The victim, now 16, was reluctant to take the stand during a jury trial, but he cooperated with prosecutors throughout the case, culminating with Helfert’s plea deal in October, Rogg said.
Helfert was then fired from the Menominee County Sheriff’s Department in December 2019.
The abuse occurred at the fomer sergeant’s home and the pair also communicated via text, Rogg said.
In addition to the jail time, Helfert was also sentenced to five years of probation and must register as a sex offender for 25 years.
“Mr. Helfert has disgraced his uniform and his behavior reflects a ‘betrayal of the badge’ that has shocked our community,” Rogg said in a statement.
Rogg also said judge a did not hold back when sentencing Helfert, calling him a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” who tarnished his profession.
“In my view, for what you have done, the court cannot legally punish you sufficiently or enough to satisfy demands of justice,” Judge Christopher Ninomiya told Helfert, WLUC reported.
Helfert will serve his sentence at the Ontonagon County Jail after 31 years with the Menominee County Sheriff’s Department.
Another victim has also reported similar allegations against him that will be “fully investigated” by police, Rogg said.
“I commend the tremendous courage exhibited by the young man during the period of his victimization at the hands of a person he trusted and looked up to as role model,” the Menominee County prosecutor said in a statement.
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