FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 18, 2018) – Attorney General Andy Beshear announced a 54-year-old Russell County man has been found guilty of possessing and distributing child pornography.
On Friday, Sept. 14, a Russell County jury found Robert Helton, of Russell Springs, guilty on five counts of possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor and five counts of distribution of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor, class D felonies.
“Improving the safety of our Kentucky children means working hard to catch and convict those who prey upon them,” Beshear said. “Our persistent law enforcement, victim advocacy and child sexual abuse prevention efforts are helping to give more Kentucky children the childhood they deserve.”
The three-day jury trial resulted in guilty verdicts on all counts. The presiding judge at sentencing, set for Nov. 13, 2018, will determine a final sentence.
The charges against Helton stem from a March 2014 investigation by the Office of the Attorney General, Department of Criminal Investigations, Cyber Crimes Branch.
At the time, investigators executed a search warrant at Helton’s home in Russell Springs, and determined someone at the residence was using a computer to share and possess images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation of children.
Investigators seized computers and electronic devices, and following an investigation and forensic exam by the Cyber Crimes Branch, Helton was indicted on the 10 counts by a Russell County grand jury in June 2014.
The Russell County Sheriff’s Office and commonwealth’s attorney assisted the Cyber Crimes Branch on the case.
The work of the Cyber Crimes Branch is part of Beshear’s core mission to keep sexual predators away from Kentucky’s families and children.
Beshear’s office also supports child sexual abuse prevention programs through the administration of the Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention Board that allocates dollars from the Child Victims’ Trust Fund.
In the current fiscal year, the fund is providing over $100,000 to support state and regional prevention programs, as well as $78,000 in grants to cover costs associated with more than 1,000 child sexual abuse medical exams.
Beshear’s office has awarded more than $410,000 in statewide and regional Child Victims’ Trust Fund grants and trained hundreds of individuals, whose organizations serve over 100,000 Kentucky children, on how to protect them from sexual abuse.
The office has also set a record pace with the arrest of more child predators than ever before.
Beshear said Kentuckians have a moral and legal duty to report any suspected incidence of child abuse and child sexual abuse to local law enforcement or to Kentucky’s Child Abuse hotline at 877-597-2331 or 877-KYSAFE1.