Feds: Child porn found on computer sends convicted robber back to jail

Tommy Helman, 54, charged with violating probation

INDIANAPOLIS - A routine search of an east-Indianapolis apartment has sent a convicted bank robber back to jail, after federal agents say a surprise was found on a computer that he wasn’t even allowed to have.

Federal probation officers made the discovery while searching the apartment of a bank robber in the 5800block of East Washington Street.

The routine visit was aimed at making sure that Tommy Joe Helman, 54, was complying with his probation requirements stemming from an Indiana bank robbery in 1991.

Agents with Homeland Security Investigations wrote in a search warrant that Helman had been caught with child pornography on a mobile phone device in July 2011, prompting a judge to change the conditions of his probation.

The new restrictions specified that Helman was not allowed to access the Internet and was not allowed to possess any computers while he was on probation.

When parole officers entered his apartment to check up on him, they found an Asus laptop, according to the report.

Helman claimed he was using it for classwork but he admitted that he had been using the computer and accessing the web behind his probation officers’ backs.

Agents then started searching the laptop and now accuse Helman of having 23 images of child pornography stored on the laptop.

After reading Helman his rights, federal agents  said  Helman  admitted to accessing those illegal images by conducting key word searches online.  He said he searched for terms including “teen, young teen, young, and nnteeen,” according to the warrant.

Helman admitted he was sexually attracted to girls between 13 and 15 years old, and he then pointed to eight of the images on his computer that he found to be the most arousing.

Agents said he admitted that he started viewing child pornography shortly after his 2009 release from federal prison, and he said he viewed the images nearly every day.

He was booked into the Marion County Jail  on new federal charges of accessing child pornography with the intent to view.

Officials declined to release his mug shot.  He is awaiting a hearing in federal court, which has not yet been scheduled.

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