Restroom photography case moved to Douglas County |

Restroom photography case moved to Douglas County

William Ferchland

Accused of taking pictures of two boys urinating in a public restroom, Jason Helton is in Douglas County Jail at $50,000 on a charge of unlawful use of minor children in pornography.

The 32-year-old former waiter was extradited from El Dorado County, where he was arrested at his South Lake Tahoe residence after tipsters led investigators to Helton.

Helton’s next appearance at Tahoe Township Justice Court is Tuesday at 1 p.m. for a mandatory settlement conference.

Since two boys in the criminal complaint were listed as 11 and 14 years old, Helton faces three different maximum sentences if convicted.

If convicted of taking pictures of the 14-year-old boy, Helton could serve life or 15 years in prison, with parole eligibility coming after five years, said Douglas County Deputy District Attorney Derrick Lopez.

Each carries a $100,000 fine.

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If convicted of taking pictures of the 11-year-old boy or both youths, Helton would face life in prison with parole eligibility after 10 years and a $100,000 fine, Lopez said.

Defense attorney Nathan Young was assigned to Helton’s case. He declined to speak about the case.

“I don’t have any comment at this point,” he said.

Helton is no stranger to the South Shore court system. In late 2002 he was arrested at gunpoint when it was discovered by an El Dorado County sheriff’s deputy that the red 2001 Mitsubishi Galant Helton was driving was stolen.

The Galant’s broken taillight caught the deputy’s attention. Helton told authorities he found the Galant, previously parked at Harveys Resort and Casino, with its engine running backed up against a fence on Park Avenue.

The case in Douglas County was dismissed in December 2002 after Helton pleaded guilty to the possession of a stolen vehicle, the same charge he would face in Tahoe Township Justice Court.

He received three years probation. A violation of probation charge is scheduled to be heard in El Dorado County Superior Court on Oct. 20.