Michael Paul Miller, 40, of Constantine, will serve 10-30 years prison after pleading guilty to second-degree criminal sexual conduct as a habitual offender with an underage girl in 2020.
In December 2020, Miller claimed he was drunk and awoke to find the girl, now 14, having sex with him.
Miller denied anything happened until he failed a polygraph test when he admitted the crimes. He said he had touched her breasts and buttocks.
The girl told investigators Miller had been having sex with her starting in 2019 until just before Christmas last year when police became involved.
The Michigan Department of Corrections recommended the sentence based on the plea. Judge Paul Stutesman said “if anything I find the Department of Corrections recommendation light but I will follow it.” He did because Miller had only admitted to the touching.
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Gary Gabry had asked for 20 year minimum. He said his office “took a plea so not to force the victim to testify”
In talking to police the chief assistant said “she indicated this man put her through hell. We did not want to put her through more hell.”
Former St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough, appointed to defend Miller, said “he’s not a horrible person. He has made poor decision in his life.”
The defense attorney said Miller agreed to the plea so not to force the victim to testify.
“He took responsibility for his actions.” He asked for a minimum guideline sentence of 58 months to 20 years.
McDonough said Miller knew he was going to prison.
“He wants to take advantage of all the programs so when he does become eligible for parole that is something that can happen," McDonough said.
Asked if he wanted to make a statement, Miller answered “no.”
The victim had talked to Constantine Police about appearing at the sentencing and was notified of the time and date, but did not appear.
Gabry had called Miller’s conduct “predatory.” He pointed out Miller had a criminal sexual conduct case as a juvenile as well as another CSC complaint that never went forward.
Gabry said Miller made a statement to the victim not to tell “or she wouldn’t see her sister again.”
Miller must register as a sex offender. Michigan law requires he be subject to electronic monitoring for the rest of his life since the offense involved a child under 13 and he was over 17 at the time of the offense.
This article originally appeared on Sturgis Journal: Miller sentenced to 10 to 30 years for sex with a minor girl