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With a courtroom full of Amish spectators, Daniel Miller, 47, of West Farmington, pleaded guilty Monday to 17 charges of rape and gross sexual imposition and was sentenced to life in prison.
Miller pleaded guilty as charged Monday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court to five counts of first-degree felony rape that carried life-in-prison maximum sentences, one count of second-degree felony sexual battery and 10 counts of third-degree felony gross sexual imposition.
For almost a decade, prosecutors said Miller preyed on the young and vulnerable by raping seven girls who were all between the ages of 5 and 13. Prosecutors said the rapes occurred between March 2009 and July 2012. Some of the girls were Miller’s relatives and some of the attacks occurred at Miller’s home.
“They described various types of assaults at the hands of Mr. Miller, anything from digital penetration to full on vaginal rapes of minor females,” said Trumbull County Assistant Prosecutor Gabe Wildman, who is a member of the county’ child sex crimes unit.
Investigators said Trumbull County Children Services were investigating a different case when they found out about Miller. They also said they believe Miller sexually assaulted at least nine victims but only had evidence to pursue charges for seven.
Miller was arrested by the Pennsylvania State Police at Whispering Hope, a Newville, Pa. facility that specializes in treating Amish and Mennonite men with marital or mental health issues.
Two of his victims who came forward after Miller was initially arrested were in the courtroom as they watched Miller accept a plea. Wildman read their statements to the judge before sentencing.
“I haven’t felt the same. When I grew up and actually realized what Dan had done to me he took something away from me that I will never be able to get back. He took away my childhood and my ability to trust people,” one of the victim’s statements read.
Another victim who was 4 or 5 at the time she was molested by Miller wrote, “Dan Miller is a sick person. My mom sent me over there to be babysat, not to be scarred for the rest of my life.”
Prosecutors said this is one of the worst cases of child abuse they have ever seen in Trumbull County and they believe there may be more victims still out there.
Miller is eligible for parole in 20 years, but prosecutors said they will oppose his release when that happens.