LISBON — The Rev. Scott Helms, arrested Tuesday on sex charges out of Colorado, is accused of having explicit conversations with a pair of children in Gilpin County.

Police there said they had reason to believe the suspect may have indulged in this type of activity for 25 years.

Helms, 48, of 4 Libby St., has been charged with three counts of Internet sexual exploitation of a child and two counts of criminal attempted exploitation. He was being held at the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn on $10,000 cash bail.

In Gilpin County, a rural community in Colorado’s high country, police said Helms was never in that area and did not have physical contact with the children. All communication was conducted over the Internet, which they said emphasizes an alarming trend.

“I believe these predators feel a greater sense of safety and anonymity from authorities when victimizing children in different states and countries,” Gilpin County Sheriff’s Sgt. Troy Hendricks said. “They don’t think we can find them, but we can.”

Police in Colorado tracked Helms with the help of the Maine Computer Crimes Task Force and Lisbon police, who arrested Helms at his home on Tuesday.

According to court documents, when Lisbon police arrested Helms, he told them he was aware of the investigation and that he had talked with Detective Hendricks the night before. The documents also state that Helms is being investigated by the Maine Computer Crimes Task Force for incidents unrelated to the case in Colorado.

Police did not say what the communication entailed between Helms and the children he is accused of exploiting. According to Colorado statutes, sexual exploitation typically involves sexually explicit images transmitted over the Internet.

Police in Gilpin County had been investigating the case for a week, according to Public Information Officer Cherokee Blake. In the news release, Helms is referred to as “Reverend Scott A. Helms.” According to his Facebook page, Helms is a senior minister at an online church based in Vermont.

In Colorado — as in Maine — police continue to stress the dangers of the Internet to parents who may not always know with whom their children are communicating.

“This is an alarming trend we’re seeing recently” Hendricks said, “and parents and children need to realize predators can be anywhere in the world where there is an Internet connection and many predators are willing to travel … to meet children.”

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