34-year-old Bobby Helms was arrested Tuesday morning inside the lobby at Houston Elementary by the school’s resource officer.
“He was arrested for being a sex offender within 500 feet of a school, which is a class A misdemeanor,” Houston Police Lieutenant Brad Evans told KY3.
Helms was at the school trying to register a child, whom authorities say is not his biological child, for school: something he had tried to do once before back on November 11th.
That was before authorities knew about Helms.
“And they did not have all the normal information and documents that someone would provide when they were trying to enroll a student. So that kind of raised some red flags for school staff,” Texas County Sheriff Scott Lindsey explained.
The sheriff’s office looked into it and discovered that Helms is a level 3 sex offender convicted of attempted first degree rape in Oregon, who also has a past of failing to register.
Court documents show that Helms moved from Oregon to Texas County on November 9th.
“Helms’ original sex offense conviction was out of Oregon and then he also has a conviction of failing to register as a sex offender there and one in Minnesota as well,” Sheriff Lindsey added.
Missouri law states a level 3 sex offender must register after moving to the state within three business days.
Helms had not.
Helms told authorities, he was unaware of what the law was on how long he had to register. He told them he was just visiting and had not lived here the entire time since November 9th.
Police say Helms’ girlfriend told them that wasn’t true.
Sheriff Lindsey says if sex offenders want to do things on school property, there is a way to do so, legally.
“They can contact the superintendent of the school district ahead of time, Lindsey said. I would recommend that contact be by phone and get permission to be on school property for that type of business.”
Helms now faces a new felony charge of failing to register as a prior offender.
He’s being held in jail with no bond and is due in court next week.
Sheriff Lindsey says this is the second sex offender they’ve arrested this week for failing to register. You can view sex offenders in your county by going to the Highway Patrol’s sex offender registry.