The probation violation that led to the arrest of the man known as the ‘Hyde Park Rapist’ should not hold up in court nor should his subsequent arrest according to Bobby Joe Helms’ Tampa Criminal Defense attorney. Helms’ lawyer told 10 Connects that his parole for 12 Tampa rapes and four other attempted rapes in the 1980’s expired in 2006 making the latest arrest of Helms that started as a stop for a probation violation invalid.
Helms has been in jail in Hillsborough County for almost a year. He was originally arrested following a traffic stop based on a tip he had a 17-year-old girl in his car. The arrest was based on the fact that Helms was told to stay away from the girl by his probation officer. His lawyer argued that even if Helms was still on probation there were no terms forbidding him to have contact with minors and that a probation officer cannot make up terms to add on to his probation.
If the defense attorney is right, then Helms should not be sitting in jail. According to the story on WTSP.com Helms had complied with the terms of his parole and never had committed a violation of his probation as reported by the Brevard County Sheriff’s. They had no reported problems with Helms up until last June. At that time there were reports of the 52-year-old having contact with area teenagers.
At the time of the traffic stop that led to his arrest, police did report finding Helms’ in possession of what may be illegal prescription drugs. Helms had a suspicious amount of painkillers and police suspect he may be involved in doctor shopping and prescription fraud. Authorities believe he was trying to illegally acquire Oxycodone and Xanax, which they say also violates the terms of his probation.