PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A former Sunset High School track coach was convicted of sex abuse after having an “inappropriate sexual relationship” with a 16-year-old girl at the high school.
The Washington County District Attorney’s Office said Branden Michael Helms was arrested after an investigation that started when the girl’s mother witnessed inappropriate contact between her daughter and the coach.
Investigators found sexual texts between the girl and Helms on her phone and learned they had sexual contact at least four times. They also found photos and videos Helms sent to the girl, which clearly showed his face and genitals.
The district attorney’s office said Helms denied wrongdoing until Detective Madalyn Brown showed him those images.
“Once Helms saw this evidence against him, he hung his head and admitted to engaging in the sexual contact with the child,” the DA’s office said in a press release.
“We want the public to know that we take cases involving abuse by an adult in a position of trust very seriously,” Deputy DA Chris Lewman said in a press release. “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 convicted of 2nd-degree sex abuse by a coach and sentenced to 13 months in prison and 5 years of post-prison supervision. He is also ordered to register as a sex offender and not make contact with minors.
A spokeswoman with the Beaverton School District previously told KOIN 6 News he coached on the track team the last two seasons, but he wasn’t contracted. They said he was a “casual employee.” He’s no longer with the district.