A Huntington woman who was part of a sex crime duo was sentenced to 22 years in prison for the promotion of child sexual trafficking and two additional felony counts on Monday, following a 14-year sentence her partner received nearly three months prior.
Alissa S. Thomas, 40, was sentenced to 22 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to promotion of child sexual trafficking, a Level 3 felony; child molesting, a Level 4 felony; and possession of child pornography, a Level 6 felony.
Thomas will receive an additional two years of probation each for the promotion of child sexual trafficking and child molesting charges, for a total of four years of probation on top of the 22-year prison charge.
The Court found mitigating circumstances surrounding the lack of criminal history and the remorse Thomas showed for the crimes committed. Aggravating circumstances found by the Court included: multiple victims, the tender age of the victims and the fact that the victims were in her care and custody when the crimes occurred. The Court found the aggravating circumstances outweighed the mitigating circumstances.
Thomas was arrested on Dec. 13 on seven felony charges after police say she allegedly sent dozens of nude photographs of three minors to her boyfriend Jeremy H. Helvie, 39, who was initially charged with five felony counts, according to court records.
Thomas wrote in her plea agreement that she texted Helvie about explicit sexual acts that she and Helvie wanted to engage in with two victims. Police say she sent pictures exposing herself with the victims among other graphic images.
“I learned that if I sent other men the pictures of victim 1 involving sexual conduct they would ‘flock to me,’” Thomas states in her guilty plea. “I sent many pictures of victim 1 involving sexual conduct to multiple random men online to initiate and further relationships with them.”
On Count 1, Thomas reportedly admitted to harboring a child less than 18 years of age with the intent of causing the child to engage in a performance that included sexual conduct. On Count 4, Thomas reportedly admitted to aiding, inducing or causing Helvie to touch or fondle a child under 14 years of age with the intent to arouse or satisfy his own sexual desires or the desires of the victim. On Count 6, Thomas reportedly admitted to possessing images of children depicting sexual conduct.
The court dismissed Counts 2 and 3, both Level 4 felony charges of child molesting or fondling; Count 5, a Level 4 felony of child exploitation with an aggravating factor; and Count 7, a Level 6 felony of performing sexual conduct in the presence of a minor.
Helvie was arrested on Dec. 13 on two counts of child molesting, fondling or touching with a child under 14 years of age, both Level 4 felonies, child exploitation including an aggravating circumstance, a Level 4 felony, possession of child pornography with an aggravating factor, a Level 5 felony, and a Level 6 felony for performing sexual conduct in the presence of a minor.
Thomas allegedly performed a “factory reset” on one of the phones confiscated by officers and no evidence was obtained through the forensic analysis. However, officers did locate multiple sexual pictures of Victim 1 on one of Thomas’s cell phones, according to police reports.
Police say Thomas stated she does not know why she would send pictures of underage children to sexually gratify random men online.
Thomas reportedly admitted to inappropriately touching Victim 1. Thomas also advised she was aware that the pictures sexually gratified Helvie, according to police reports.
Helvie reportedly told the detective that the sexual conversations were “fantasy” when confronted with excerpts from Thomas and Helvie’s messages. Helvie advised the fantasies lasted “possibly a couple months” and that Thomas had sent him 20-30 naked pictures of Victim 1, according to court documents.
Helvie was sentenced to seven years in prison and one year of probation for a Level 4 felony child molestation charge in addition to seven years in prison and one year of probation for a Level 4 felony child exploitation charge.
Helvie entered a plea of guilty on March 30 for the two counts, and the court accepted the plea agreement, dismissing three of his five initial felony charges.
Helvie’s sentencing hearing commenced on April 27. He received 137 days of accrued jail credit for time incarcerated prior to his sentencing, from Dec. 12, 2019 to April 26, 2020.
No contact orders previously issued for Thomas will remain in effect and the court will consider lifting the no contact orders if the therapist of the children deems it necessary for their treatment. Thomas received 220 actual days of accrued jail credit for her time incarcerated prior to sentencing from December 13, 2019, to July 19, 2020.