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Former Menominee County deputy faces new charges

BRIAN HELFERT

MENOMINEE — A former Menominee County Sheriff’s Office sergeant who served as a school resource officer has been accused of sexually assaulting an individual over a six-year span.

Brian Helfert, 57, of Menominee, was arraigned Friday in the 95-A District Court on charges of child sexually abusive activity, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison; four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, punishable by life or any number of years in prison; three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, a 15-year penalty; two counts of assault with intent to commit sexual penetration, a 10-year felony; and gross indecency between males as a sexually delinquent person, a felony punishable between one day and life in prison.

According to the criminal complaint, Helfert sexually assaulted the individual on a number of occasions between April 2013 and December 2019.

Helfert — then a juvenile crime investigator and school resource officer for Menominee Area Public Schools — reportedly told the individual not to speak about the incidents.

The individual, who was 15 years old when the assaults reportedly began, came to Menominee Police Department officers in October after learning of Helfert’s plea in an earlier case involving a 16-year-old male MAPS student, the complaint stated.

Helfert had been charged in January 2020 with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in Menominee County Circuit Court, but pleaded no contest in October to the attempted accosting of a minor for immoral purposes, a high court misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison. He was sentenced to six months in jail in December.

Menominee County Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey T. Rogg invited others to come forward, stating in a news release that every allegation against Helfert would be fully investigated.

Rogg stated in the release he will not seek a special prosecutor to handle this Helfert case.

“A request for the appointment of a special prosecutor must rely on more than a mere claim that someone might question whether a prosecutor should be disqualified,” Rogg stated. “I am confident that I possess the impartiality, ability, expertise and other resources necessary to fairly prosecute the case through to its conclusion, including any interlocutory or post-conviction appeals.”

Attorney Trenton M. Stupak of Escanaba will represent Helfert, the release stated.

A probable cause conference is scheduled for May 14 and a preliminary examination for May 21. Bond is set at $250,000, cash or surety.

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