A Montana man who was initially charged with more than 60 child sex crimes, including rape and possession of child pornography, was convicted of only two charges and was sentenced to one year in prison.
William Edward Miller 51 of Great Falls agreed to the terms of the agreement on Monday and was convicted of Cascade County District Judge Elizabeth Best.
Under the deal, Miller pleaded guilty to a single count of child sexual abuse based on a photo of a 17-year-old girl found in his possession.
He was sentenced to one year in prison. However, the sentence was postponed as long as he completed a probationary period without supervision.
The girl, now 19, has been married to Miller for three months, claiming she had taken the photo and that no one else was supposed to see it.
William Edward Miller 51, of Great Falls, pleaded guilty to a single count of child sexual abuse based on a photo of a 17-year-old girl found in his possession, under a deal with prosecutors.
Miller also pleaded guilty to a crime of accidental forgery to the authorities, the Great Falls Grandstand reported.
Best stated in the conviction that she could only convict Miller on the basis of the allegations made to her and what could be proved, and not of all of the charges against him.
“I think it is very easy and courts, from the bank, can use these violations as an opportunity to stand up and make statements for the newspaper and TV,” Best said at the sentencing.
“They are very charged loads. They are very difficult accusations against, “added the judge.
Attention was first drawn to Miller after a 14-year-old girl came forward in February 2019 to say he raped her, police said. She also claimed that Miller had allowed an 11-year-old boy to rape her, and while he watched, the Tribune reported.
Miller, after being arrested, allegedly called several times from prison to people asking him to destroy his cell phone, KFBB reported.
Police were working on an anonymous tip, saying they had identified a woman who was trying to go to Miller’s house to pick up his phone and possibly a computer. The woman denied she was trying to get a lift to Miller’s house to destroy the devices, KFBB reported.
She then changed her story by saying she didn’t want researchers taking the devices with her because they included images of her and Miller engaging in sexual acts she didn’t want to see.
Miller is said to have called prison people asking them to destroy his cell phone. He was housed at the Cascade County Detention Center in Great Falls
Police later came to Miller’s house armed with a search warrant and found a laptop and a loaded weapon under a mattress in the house. However, the order did not cover the laptop, which was kept by the authorities anyway.
Armed with additional search warrants, the investigators said they examined Miller’s phone and found images of him having sex with the woman before she turned 18.
A review of his laptop revealed several possible pornographic images of children and thousands of bestiality-related images, KFBB reported.
Miller was charged in August with 64 counts of child sexual abuse. However, they were all withdrawn under the plea agreement. The judge was only presented with a case about the woman who was depicted having sex with him while she was under age.
The woman, now 19 and identified as his wife Shiloh Young, testified that she had taken the photo herself and did not intend others to see it.
“William is a kind, compassionate, empathetic man. He never manipulated or checked me, “she said, the Great Falls Tribune reported.
“I ask that we be free from this charge. I feel we’ve suffered enough and I’m not a victim of my husband, ”she told the judge.
Miller’s conviction was based on no previous crime history and a psychosexual evaluation, showing that he could be sentenced to less than the mandatory minimum. He was found to have the lowest level of sex offenders.
Because of the delayed sentence, Miller may also be able to withdraw the drug and have the charges dropped. In addition, he can request to be removed from the sex offender registers.
Miller said in the conviction that he had already been in prison “for things I hadn’t even done,” and that he wants to be a good person but “really unlucky.”