GREAT FALLS, Mont. - A man in Montana who was initially charged with more than 60 counts of child sex abuse has received a deferred one-year sentence after agreeing to a plea deal, according to reports.
William Edward Miller Jr., 51, of Great Falls, was arrested in February 2019 after a 14-year-old high school student accused him of raping her at her home a year prior. She alleged that Miller allowed an 11-year-old boy to rape her while he watched in a separate encounter.
Later that August, state prosecutors filed 64 counts of sexual abuse of children against Miller after investigators allegedly found images of child pornography and bestiality on his phone and laptop, the Great Falls Tribune reported. Police received a search warrant on his home after Miller allegedly began calling people from jail asking them to destroy his phone, KFBB reported.
Miller would later accept a plea deal that involved prosecutors dropping the majority of the charges against him. He pleaded guilty to one count of felony sexual abuse of children and one count of misdemeanor unsworn falsification to authorities.
Cascade County District Judge Elizabeth Best on Monday sentenced Miller to six months in the Cascade County Detention Center for the misdemeanor. He received credit for 384 days of time served. On the felony charge, Miller was slapped with a one-year deferred sentence and was ordered to complete sex offender treatment in the community, according to the Tribune. Under a deferred sentence, the child sex abuse charge could be wiped from Miller’s record if he doesn’t commit a crime over the next year, according to KFBB.
The felony count for which Miller pleaded guilty came in connection to a photograph of then 17-year-old Shiloh Young. The woman, now 19, has been married to Miller for three months and testified that she took the photo herself two years ago to help her overcome body issues.
“William is a kind, compassionate, empathetic man. Never has he manipulated or controlled me,” Young told the judge, according to the Tribune. “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.”