Cops: Man inappropriately touched 2 Greensburg girls, had child pornography |

Cops: Man inappropriately touched 2 Greensburg girls, had child pornography

Paul Peirce

A Jeannette man remained jailed in Westmoreland County on Tuesday on allegations he had inappropriate contact with two girls while he temporarily stayed at a Greensburg apartment last year, city police reported.

Police arrested Gerald A. Helzel, 24, last week following a report made to the state child abuse hotline. During the investigation, police also discovered child pornography on Helzel’s cell phone, Detective Sgt. John Swank reported.

Helzel is charged with indecent assault on a child under the age of 13, indecent assault on a child under 18, indecent contact and possession of child pornography. District Judge Chris Flanigan ordered him held in the Westmoreland County Prison on $250,000 bail.

Police received a report from ChildLine alleging the abuse on Jan. 14, Swank reported in court documents. The investigation involved talking to the alleged victims, their relatives and acquaintances, Greensburg-Salem school officials, county children’s bureau investigators and Helzel, Swank reported.

In an interview Jan. 24, Helzel denied allegations he improperly touched and kissed the girls when he resided at the same residence in the vicinity of St. Clair Park between June and December, Swank reported.

“Helzel said he was sexually abused as a child and would never do that to someone. Helzel said he only hugged and kissed them, and it was nothing sexual,” Swank wrote.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled Feb. 7.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.