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Court rules child abuser will serve 5 sentences

SHARE Court rules child abuser will serve 5 sentences

The five consecutive prison terms against a convicted child molester will stand, the Utah Supreme Court has ruled.

Mark Helms was sentenced to up to life in prison for having sex with six teenage boys at his West Jordan home between 1991 and 1998. He videotaped the sex acts, as well as showing the 12- to 14-year-old boys pornographic videos.

Helms, now 39, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted aggravated sexual assault and three counts of dealing in harmful material to a minor.

On appeal, Helms argued that 3rd District Judge Homer Wilkinson abused his discretion in ordering him to serve the sentences consecutively. He sought a new sentencing hearing, which was denied Friday in a unanimous ruling.

Helms said Wilkinson overlooked his acceptance of responsibility, remorse and cooperation with law enforcement.

However, the high court ruled Wilkinson, who is now retired, did indicate on the record that he considered those factors, as well as Helms' illegal behavior, criminal history and psychological evaluations.

"The court has gone over this presentence report rather carefully, and read it, and what has taken place," Wilkinson said. "This cannot be tolerated as far as society's concerned. The action is just completely outside the realm of a normal situation."

The allegations became public while Helms was serving a one-year jail sentence on similar allegations involving an 11-year-old Davis County boy.