Miley Cyrus' Homeless VMAs Date Jesse Helt Wanted for Arrest in Oregon

Celebrity News Aug. 26, 2014 AT 5:30PM
Jesse Helt and Miley Cyrus Miley Cyrus' VMAs date, runaway Jesse Helt, has a warrant out for his arrest in Oregon, authorities confirm to Us Weekly Credit: Kevin Mazur/MTV1415/WireImage

Miley Cyrus' VMAs date, Jesse Helt, was the talk of the town after his poignant speech on Sunday night, but today he's in the headlines for another reason. According to Polk County Corrections director Marty Silbernagel, 22-year-old Helt has a criminal record and is wanted by law enforcement in his home state of Oregon.

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Silbernagel confirmed to Us Weekly on Tuesday, Aug. 26, that there's an active warrant out for Helt's arrest. "He's had a warrant out for him since November 2011 for criminal trespass," Silbernagel said in a statement. "The warrant is still valid and we will be attempting to serve that as the report is that Mr. Helt has returned to his mother's home in our county in Oregon."

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In fact, Polk County sheriff's detective John Williams told NBC News that he paid a visit to Helt's mother's home in Salem, Ore., earlier on Tuesday. Helt was apparently not there.

If and when he is found, however, he'll be taken into custody and brought before a circuit court judge, Silbernagel explained. It will be up to that judge to determine whether Helt gets continued probation or jail time. 

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Per NBC News, the probation stems from charges relating to an October 2010 burglary attempt, for which Helt pleaded guilty to criminal trespass and criminal mischief. Court records obtained by the Statesman Journal show that he violated the terms of his probation on multiple occasions after that.

Helt was thrust into the spotlight on Sunday, Aug. 24, when Video of the Year winner Cyrus sent him onstage to accept her VMA. In the speech that followed, he spoke of his experience being among the "1.6 million runaways and homeless youth in the United States."

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As Cyrus watched from the audience with tears in her eyes, he explained how he survived in shelters and on odd jobs. "I've been an extra in your movies, I've been in an extra in your life," he said, reading from notecards. He then went on to tell viewers to visit Cyrus' Facebook page for information on how to help others like him.

Cyrus, for her part, tweeted on Tuesday afternoon, "People who are homeless have lived very hard lives. Jesse included. I hope that this can be the start of a national conversation about youth homelessness and how to end it."

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