“Berlin priest pleads guilty to child porn charges” & related article

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The San Fransisco Chronicle

Updated 4:12 am, Friday, May 3, 2013

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) — A Franciscan friar who served in Berlin has pleaded guilty to several charges including possession of child pornography.

The Rev. Michael Miller, who was suspended from St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church after his arrest in 2011, faces five years in prison after agreeing to the plea deal on Thursday.

Miller was arrested after police linked him to repeated conversations about sex acts with a 13-year-old boy on Facebook and in text messages.

Authorities say they found the child porn on computers seized from the priest.

The Hartford archdiocese issued a statement saying that Miller will never again function as a priest.

Sentencing on the charges, which also include risk of injury to a child and obscenity, is scheduled for July 9.

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Berlin Priest Pleads Guilty To Child Endangerment Charges; Faces Five Years In Prison

The Hartford Courant

  • Miller faces faces five years in prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography, obscenity and three counts of risk of injury to a minor.

Miller faces faces five years in prison after pleading guilty to possession… (Courtesy of Berlin Police…)

May 02, 2013

By CHRISTINE DEMPSEY, cdempsey@courant.com, The Hartford Courant

NEW BRITAIN — A Catholic priest faces five years in prison after he admitted in Superior Court on Thursday that he had child pornography on his computer and chatted about sex on the Internet with underage boys.

The Rev. Michael Miller, 43, of Berlin, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography, obscenity and three counts of risk of injury to a minor before Judge Hillary Strackbein. He is expected to be sentenced July 9 to a prison term of 20 years, suspended after five, followed by 20 years of probation.

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Berlin priest pleads guilty to child porn charges

The Fransisco Chronicle

Updated 4:12 am, Friday, May 3, 2013

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) — A Franciscan friar who served in Berlin has pleaded guilty to several charges including possession of child pornography.

The Rev. Michael Miller, who was suspended from St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church after his arrest in 2011, faces five years in prison after agreeing to the plea deal on Thursday.

Miller was arrested after police linked him to repeated conversations about sex acts with a 13-year-old boy on Facebook and in text messages.

Authorities say they found the child porn on computers seized from the priest.

The Hartford archdiocese issued a statement saying that Miller will never again function as a priest.

Sentencing on the charges, which also include risk of injury to a child and obscenity, is scheduled for July 9.

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Suspended Berlin Priest Sentenced on Child Porn Charges

NBC News  (NBCConnecticut.com)

updated 5/2/2013 3:16:20 PM ET

Michael Miller, a suspended priest from St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church in Berlin, pleaded guilty to charges including child pornography possession on Thursday and will serve a five-year sentence as part of a plea deal.

Miller was in court on Thursday and pleaded guilty to risk of injury, obscenity and child porn charges.

His attorney said Miller is “terribly upset” about charges, but wants to get this behind him and took a plea.

Court documents stated that authorities looked through two of Miller’s computer and found numerous files showing obscene pictures of kids and child porn.

“Now that Miller has pled guilty, he will never function as a priest again,” a statement from the Archdiocese of Hartford says.

Rev. Miller was arrested last summer after police said he was having graphic conversations with a 13-year-old boy through Facebook and texting.

The boy’s mother was the one to contact police, officials said.

According to the arrest warrant, Miller confessed to having those conversations but said he never had physical contact with the boy.  That’s when he gave up the computers.

After Miller was charged, a church group posted his $300,000 bond and Miller was getting treatment at a rehab center.

The Archdiocese of Hartford issued a statement on Thursday after the plea:

“Michael Miller’s guilty plea to possession of child pornography, publishing an obscenity, and three counts of risk of injury to a minor comes after many months of personal deliberation, reflection and prayer. During this time, Miller has received medical treatment and undergone therapy.

“Two years ago, when the Berlin Police Department contacted the Archdiocese of Hartford and Miller’s Order, the Franciscan Friars Conventual, about the charges, Miller was immediately suspended from performing any priestly duties. Now that Miller has pled guilty, he will never function as a priest again.

“We hope that Miller’s plea will give some solace and closure to the minors he violated — and their families. We will continue to pray for them so that they will continue to heal from this regrettable experience.

“It is important to note that the Archdiocese of Hartford and the Franciscan Friars Conventual cooperated fully with authorities and are fully committed to protecting the safety and well-being of the children of God. To report abuse of any kind, contact the Victims’ Assistance Office at the Archdiocese of Hartford at:  860-541-6491.”

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Two years later, former Berlin priest yet to face trial

The Berlin Citizen

Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2013 6:00 am | Updated: 11:38 am, Thu Apr 25, 2013.

It has almost been two years since a former assistant pastor of St. Paul Church in Kensington was first arrested and charged with five felony counts of risk of injury to a minor and one misdemeanor obscenity charge.

Father Michael Miller’s case was continued for the 21st time on March 28, 2013. His next hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, May 1, in GA 15 Courthouse, at 20 Franklin Square, New Britain.

William J. St. John Jr., a Waterbury attorney who represents the former Berlin priest, said he cannot discuss any details regarding the case.

Miller was first arrested on July 12, 2011, at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, on charges that he had inappropriate contact with more than one minor. At the time he’d been hospitalized for an unknown reason.

According to an arrest warrant, a mother noticed her 13-year-old son having what she said was a “very disturbing and inappropriate” conversation with Miller on Facebook. Police confiscated two computers from Miller’s home. Miller told police that he knew the boy was 13 and had offered to perform sex acts with the boy but he never had physical contact with him.

Miller, who was 41 at the time, was charged with five counts of risk of injury or impairing the morals of a minor and a single count of criminal attempt to obscenity. He was released after posting $150,000 bond and his first court appearance was scheduled for July 26, 2011. He pled not guilty to all charges.

The Berlin Police Department then arrested Miller a second time on June 14, 2012, on three additional charges: two counts of obscenity, possession of child pornography and 10 counts of risk of injury to a minor. The warrants were issued after analysis was done on the cellphone and two computers that were confiscated, with Miller’s consent. Miller was released on a $300,000 bail which was posted by Miller’s order, Franciscan Friars Conventual.

Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Hartford Maria Zone said the case is currently still at status quo and there is no new development as far as she knows.

“I know investigators were doing a lot of forensics on his computer and I have not been told if the authorities are done with that,” Zone said. “I’m assuming the case is continued every time because the investigation is not complete.”

Miller has been undergoing treatment at a rehabilitation facility since his second arrest. Since the matter is personal, Zone said, she cannot comment as to what treatment he is undergoing.

“It is my understanding that (Miller) is still receiving services at a rehabilitation facility,” she said.

In 2012, Zone told The Berlin Citizen that the archdiocese will continue to work with authorities and will release information publicly as it becomes available. She also said the church offers a Victims Assistance Program available to anyone who has experienced any type of abuse.

Miller ministered to the 2,300 regular members of St. Paul’s Parish. He was with St. Paul for five years when the investigation into his case began. Miller also served as chaplain for the South Kensington Fire Department and had roles with several other youth and adult organizations in town.

1 Response to “Berlin priest pleads guilty to child porn charges” & related article

  1. Sylvia says:

    “His attorney said Miller is ‘terribly upset’ about charges, but wants to get this behind him and took a plea.

    Meaning what? He didn’t do it, but he lied and said he did to get it over with? Is that the ruse?

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