West Ashley High teacher arrested, accused of having sex with student
The teacher accused of having sex with a West Ashley High School student has been arrested.
Eric Helms, 26, of Risher Street in Charleston was charged today with one count of sexual battery of a student.
The arrest is a result of information that was provided to the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office regarding Helms and an alleged relationship with an 18-year-old student.
Helms began that relationship around January, according to sheriff’s officials. The pair had sexual relations at his home on several occasions during the relationships, investigators said.
While the relationship was consensual, the actions between a teacher and a student violate the law.
According to an arrest warrant, Helms is charged with sex/sexual battery with a student 18 years of age or older where there is direct supervisory authority.
An affidavit states that between Jan. 1 and March 26 the crimes happened at Helms’ Riser Street apartment when the couple had sexual intercourse.
The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office began investigating allegations of an inapproperiate relationship between Helms and a current student. The victim stated that the relationship started in January when she became a teaching assistant in Helms’ classrom.
The relationship started from Helms texting her in reference to a school-sponsored club meeting, the affidavit states.
“The victim stated that in January, Helms ‘asked me if I wanted to hang out one day and I said sure,’ the affidavit states.
“It kept going from there,” the victim told a detective.
The couple had sexual intercourse several times while at Helms’ residence, the affidavit states.
Detectives don’t believe Helms had sexual relationships with any other students. A judge is expected to consider setting his bail at 7 tonight.
In South Carolina, 16 is the age of consent. Teachers who have sex with students who are 15 and younger face felony rape charges.
A law that went into effect in 2010 made it illegal for teachers to have sex with the students no matter the student’s age.
“Even if they were to rise to the age of 20, it would still be illegal,” said Laura Hudson, executive director of the S.C. Crime Victims Council.
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