O'FALLON, Mo. (KSDK) - A 21-year-old St. Charles man who works as a repairman has been charged after police say he tied up a woman and sexually assaulted her in her own home.
James M. Helderle has been charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, forcible sodomy-deviate sexual intercourse by forcible compulsion, felonious restraint, and armed criminal action.
O'Fallon, Missouri police say they received a call at 12:41 a.m. Wednesday from a man requesting police check on the well-being of his girlfriend. He had been on the phone with her when police say Helderle broke into her home.
When officers arrived at the victim's apartment in the 1000 block of Southernside Lane to check her status they found her bound and gagged. She told police she had been sexually assaulted.
Officers had interrupted the assault when they arrived and say Helderle ran outside through a sliding glass door and jumped from the second floor balcony.
A two hour manhunt was conducted and Helderle was taken into custody about two hours later.
Police say Helderle had been in the victim's home the day before as a contract worker for Charter cable and works for Communications Unlimited.
Charter released the following statement regarding the incident:
"The incident involving one of our customers is upsetting. Charter recognizes that it is a privilege to be allowed into customers' homes to install our services. Our customer's safety is of utmost importance and precautions are taken seriously. We require criminal background checks on our employees and all in-home contractors prior to performing any work for Charter. We are cooperating fully with the O'Fallon Police Department and will do everything possible to aid in this investigation."
Helderle is held on a $500,000 bond.