David Helsel – Repeat Sex Offender – Cemetery Predator

A convicted Megan’s Law offender is accused of dragging a teen into the woods and trying to rape her at knifepoint.


David Helsel, of Altoona, was arrested after a short manhunt Tuesday night and is facing numerous charges, including indecent assault.

Helsel was convicted previously of rape and is listed on the Megan’s Law Web site as a sex offender.

Altoona police said Helsel approached a group of juveniles — two girls and three boys — at the Oakridge Cemetery on 10th Street. Helsel claimed he worked at the cemetery and blamed the group for knocking over tombstones. When the juveniles tried to walk away, Helsel punched one of the boys in the face, police said.

Soon after, police said Helsel allegedly grabbed the two girls and forced them to enter a wooded area about a block away. There, Helsel pulled out a knife and assaulted both teens before one managed to escape, police said.

The girl called police, who arrived moments later to find Helsel standing over the other girl, who was partially nude.

Helsel fled the scene but officers caught him after a chase, police said. He remains at the Blair County Prison on $500,000 bond.

The girl was taken to Altoona Regional Hospital, where she was examined and released.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

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