• 9-year-old girl says Marion County man sexually assaulted her twice


    MARION COUNTY, Fla. - A Marion County man accused of having sex with a 9-year-old girl has been placed on suicide watch following his arrest.

    As detectives hauled 38-year-old Michael Helmick off to jail, they said he admitted to exposing himself to the girl but denied having sex with her.

    "I'm not the normal guy that everyone thinks I am," detectives said Helmick told them.

    The victim however, told deputies Helmick assaulted her at least twice.

    Helmick was arrested on his 38th birthday at Amazing Mobile Home Park in Ocklawaha, where he lives.

    Neighbors said he has worked as the manager there for the past couple of months.

    "He was the manager here," said neighbor Delmar Clemens. "Everybody liked him. He did things for people. I can't believe it myself."

    Deputies said they fear Helmick may have more victims and are asking anyone with information to come forward.

    "Experienced detectives will tell you by the time they catch up with guys of this nature, chances are there's not one victim," said Judge Cochran of the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

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