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Man accused of 60 child sex abuse crimes is jailed for only one year after plea deal

A Montana man originally charged with more than 60 felony child sex crimes, including rape and possession of child pornography, was sentenced on only two charges and given a 1 year, deferred prison sentence. 

William Edward Miller 51, of Great Falls, agreed to the terms of the agreement on Monday and was sentenced before Cascade County District Judge Elizabeth Best. 

Under the deal, Miller pleaded guilty to a single count of sexual abuse of children, based on a photo of a 17-year-old girl that was found on his possession.  

The girl, now 19, has been married to Miller for three months and claimed she had taken the image and never intended for anyone else to have seen it.  

William Edward Miller 51, of Great Falls, under the terms of a deal with prosecutors pleaded guilty to a single count of sexual abuse of children, based on a photo of a 17-year-old girl that was found on his possession.

William Edward Miller 51, of Great Falls, under the terms of a deal with prosecutors pleaded guilty to a single count of sexual abuse of children, based on a photo of a 17-year-old girl that was found on his possession. 

Miller also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unsworn falsification to authorities, the Great Falls Tribune reported. 

Best explained at sentencing that she could only impose sentencing on Miller based on the charges presented to her and what could be proven, and not all the accusations made 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,’ Best said at the sentencing.

‘They’re very, very loaded charges. They’re very difficult charges to defend against,’ the judge added.

Attention was first called to Miller after a 14-year-old girl came forward in February 2019 to say he had raped her, according to police. She also claimed that Miller had allowed an 11-year-old boy to rape her as well, and as he watched, the Tribune reported.

Miller, after he was arrested, was alleged to have made several calls from jail to people asking that they destroy his cell phone, KFBB reported. 

Cops, working off an anonymous tip, said they identified a womanattempting to get to Miller’s home to retrieve his phone and possibly a computer. The woman denied she was trying to get a ride to Miller’s home to destroy the devices, KFBB reported. 

She then changed her story saying she didn’t want investigators to take the devices because they contained images of her and Miller engaged in sex acts that she did not want seen.  

Miller was  alleged to have called people from jail asking them to destroy his cell phone. He was lodged at the Cascade County Detention Center in Great Falls

Miller was  alleged to have called people from jail asking them to destroy his cell phone. He was lodged at the Cascade County Detention Center in Great Falls

Cops later armed with a search warrant came to Miller’s home and found a laptop and loaded gun under a mattress in the house. The warrant, however, did not cover the laptop, which was taken anyway for safe keeping by authorities.  

Armed with additional search warrants, investigators said they examined Miller’s phone and found images of him engaged in sex with the woman before she had turned 18. 

A review of his laptop revealed several possible pornographic images of children and thousands of bestiality-related images, KFBB reported. 

Miller by August was charged with 64 counts of child sex abuse. However, under the plea deal, all were dropped. The judge was presented with only a case made around the woman who was pictured having sex with him while she was minor.

The woman, now 19 and identified as his wife Shiloh Young, testified that she had taken the picture herself and that she had not meant others to see it. 

‘William is a kind, compassionate, empathetic man. Never has he manipulated or controlled me,’ she said, the Great Falls Tribune reported. 

 ‘I ask that we be free of this charge. I feel that we have suffered enough, and I am not a victim of my husband,’ she told the judge.

Miller’s sentencing was based on no prior felony history and a psychosexual evaluation, which found he could be sentenced at less than the mandatory minimum. He was found to have the lowest sex offender level.

Because of the deferred sentence, Miller also may be able to withdraw the plea and have the charge dropped from his record. Plus, he may petition to have himself removed from sex offender registries.  

Miller at the sentencing said he had already served time in jail ‘for stuff that I didn’t even do’, and that he wants to be a good person but has had ‘really bad luck’.

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