Air Force sergeant who fled Illinois trial found in Nevada

Air Force legal

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AP) – An Air Force sergeant who disappeared while awaiting a child sex assault court-martial trial at Scott Air Force Base has been arrested in Nevada.

The U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations says Technical Sergeant David Lawrence Helm, 35, was arrested Monday night after an interstate traffic stop in Reno.

Helm is accused of sexually assaulting a girl between the ages of 12 and 16 at several locations in 2013 and 2014, including the southwestern Illinois air base and in LaFollette and Gatlinburg, Tennessee. An adult female was allegedly assaulted at Scott and in Dayton, Ohio.

Helm had been scheduled to appear in a military court Monday. The nine violations Helm faces include charges of sexual assault and taking an indecent photograph of the adult woman without her consent.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Helm told friends more than a week ago that he was headed to eastern Tennessee to visit family before his trial. He was last seen at the base on May 29.

A spokesman for the Nevada State Highway Patrol said that Helm told a trooper that he had visited Las Vegas, gone skydiving and drove a high-performance race car as part of his “bucket list.” Helm was pulled over for having a broken tail light on his Yamaha motorcycle. A search of his license plate turned up the fugitive arrest warrant.

Trooper Dave Gibson said that Helm indicated he was on his way to California to drive on the Pacific Coast Highway. He remained in a Nevada county jail Tuesday, awaiting return to Illinois.

Helm was accompanied by a 36-year-old woman with a Philippine passport who was not detained by police.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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