Psych hospital worker Dannie Helgeson pleads guilty to sexual assault of patient

May 30, 2012

KALAMAZOO, MI – A Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital employee accused of felony sexual assault pleaded guilty Friday.

Dannie Helgeson, 53, pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct, Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Fink said. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 20.

Fink said his office will recommend Helgeson be sentenced to 30 months to 15 years in prison.

Police began investigating Helgeson in September 2004 after a patient at the hospital reported that Helgeson had sexually assaulted her and that the two had sexual intercourse several times between June and September of that year.

Helgeson, who worked as a residential care aide at the mental hospital, was arrested on the felony charges in early March.

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Fink said police were unable to secure enough evidence in 2004 for his office to authorize charges against Helgeson.

However, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Carrie Klein said new information police gained during a recent investigation led prosecutors to charge Helgeson in the 2004 case.


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