Suspended Priest Sentenced on Child Porn Charges

Rev. Michael Miller reached a plea deal and will serve five years in prison.

Thursday, Aug 15, 2013  |  Updated 4:13 PM EDT
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Suspended Priest Sentenced on Child Porn Charges

Bob Mayer/Berlin Patch

Rev. Michael Miller was arrested last summer as police conducted an investigation into allegations he had inappropriate contact with a minor.

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Michael Miller, a suspended priest from St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church in Berlin, was entenced today after pleading guilty to charges including child pornography possession on Thursday.

Miller was sentenced to 20 years in prison, suspended after five, followed by 20 years of probation, according to the Berlin clerk's office.

Miller pleaded guilty in May 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 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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