A Montana man initially charged with 64 felony counts of child sex abuse received a one-year deferred prison sentence after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors.
William Edward Miller Jr. pleaded guilty to one count of felony child abuse and to one charge of misdemeanor unsworn falsification, according to The Great Falls Tribune .
Miller, 51, was arrested in February 2019 after a 14-year-old high school student accused him of raping her at her home in 2018. She also claimed Miller allowed an 11-year-old boy to rape her while he watched during another incident.
Investigators later filed additional charges after allegedly finding images of child pornography and bestiality on his phone and laptop.
After reaching a plea deal with prosecutors, Miller was sentenced to six months in the Cascade County Detention Center for the misdemeanor, with credit for 384 days of time served.
Cascade County District Judge Elizabeth Best sentenced Miller to a one-year deferred sentence and was ordered to complete sex offender treatment in the community.
The judge emphasized she could only sentence Miller on the two charges before her, and could not consider the previous charges filed 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,” she said in court, according to the paper. "They’re very, very loaded charges. They’re very difficult charges to defend against.”
The felony count Miller pleaded guilty to stemmed from a photo of a 17-year-old female who is now 19 and married Miller three months ago.
The woman testified she took the photograph of herself and never meant for anyone else to see it.
“William is a kind, compassionate, empathetic man. Never has he manipulated or controlled me,” she said, telling the judge, “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.”
Miller told the judge, “It’s destroyed our lives, and we’re suffering. I’ve served time in jail for stuff that I didn’t even do.”