William Edward Miller Jr, a 51-year-old pedophile from Great Falls, Montana, is a repeat sex offender who was facing a wide range of child abuse charges from assaults on multiple different children, as well as a large volume of child abuse images that were found on his computer.
However, due to a plea agreement, Miller will only receive a deferred sentence of one year, which means that he will be on probation for a year, and if he completes the probation requirements he will not have to serve any time in prison. If for some reason he does violate probation, he would serve a maximum of one year in prison, in addition to whichever new charges he received.
Miller was initially charged with over 60 counts of child sex abuse when he was arrested last year after a 14-year-old girl accused him of raping her. The girl also said that Miller allowed an 11-year-old boy to rape her while he watched. He then faced additional charges after police searched his phone and laptop to find more evidence of child abuse. They also found footage of animals being sexually abused.
Police had received a warrant to search his home after Miller called people from jail asking them to destroy evidence he left behind, according to the Great Falls Tribune. Police were tipped off about the images on his devices after he called a friend from prison and asked them to destroy his phone and computer. There was also evidence of Miller sexually abusing underage teens among the footage.
For some reason that is not entirely clear, the vast majority of charges against Miller ended up being dismissed. Miller ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of felony sexual abuse of children and one count of misdemeanor unsworn falsification to authorities but evaded the other charges.
One of the minors who Miller can be seen abusing in the videos is now 19-years-old and is married to him. The girl reportedly pleaded with the judge to release Miller and insisted that she was not abused or manipulated in any way. She also claims that photos of her that were found in Miller's home were taken by herself because she was trying to overcome confidence issues about her body.
Cascade County District Judge Elizabeth Best said during sentencing that the charges against Miller were loaded and that there was not enough evidence against him.
“I think it’s really easy and it’s easy for courts, from the bench, to use these offenses as an opportunity to grandstand and to make statements for the newspaper and TV. They’re very, very loaded charges. They’re very difficult charges to defend against,” she said.
Miller was ordered to go through sex offender treatment, but as a condition of the deferred sentence, he will be able to have the child abuse charges wiped from his record if he stays out of trouble for the next year, and he will also be able to have himself removed from the sex offender registry.