A man from Springfield, Missouri, was arrested Thursday for forcing a minor girl to have sex with him.

According to a probable cause statement released Friday, the victim, who is below 10 years of age, reported several instances of inappropriate behavior involving 33-year-old Michael Helm. The girl said the accused forced her to have sex with him and also raped her. She also said Helm threatened to kill her family if she reported the assault to anyone, the Springfield News Leader reported.

During interrogation, Helm admitted to the officers that he was attracted to underage girls. He also admitted to pursuing a relationship with the victim. Helm, however, denied raping the girl but said he had touched her genitals.

According to the statement, several young girls, apart from the victim, had accused Helm of behaving inappropriately between 2012 and 2018. Helm pulled down the pants of a seven-year-old girl on one occasion and touched the genitals of two other minor girls on separate occasions. He was also accused of inappropriately messaging a 13-year-old girl on Facebook.

Police searched Helm’s Facebook account and found several photos of minor girls in swimsuits and dresses. They also found out that he exchanged sexually explicit text messages with a 16-year-old girl from the Philippines.

Helm was charged with first-degree statutory rape and child molestation and held at the Greene County Jail without bond. He could be subjected to life in prison if found guilty of the rape charges. The investigation into the case was ongoing.

handcuff
Representational image of a handcuffed man. SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

In a similar incident in December 2018, a man in Essex, England, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually abusing three children and filming himself raping an 18-month-old baby. Police raided 23-year-old Joshua Gould’s home after his IP address showed he was uploading photos of children. Officers found thousands of indecent material on his laptop, which included images and videos of him sexually assaulting children.