Amishman Sentenced For Sexual Abuse After Amish Community Reported Him

From Bangor Daily News:

HOULTON, Maine — A 29-year-old Sherman man, who is a member of the town’s Amish community, pleaded guilty to a sex crime Monday afternoon, while appearing in Houlton District Court.

Rudy L. Miller was sentenced to five years in prison with all but nine months suspended by Judge Patrick Larson for the Class C felony of unlawful sexual contact.

Miller was originally facing two counts of gross sexual assault (Class A felonies) and one case of sexual abuse of a minor (Class D felony), but the charge was reduced to unlawful sexual contact.

The incident took place between June 1 and June 30, 2013, in Sherman and involved a girl who was under the age of 14 and was not his wife. Miller was 20 years old at the time.

Judge Larson reminded Miller that he was under no obligation to plead guilty and that the case could go to trial, without him having to take the stand. He also reminded Miller that it would be the state’s burden to convince the members of the jury of his guilt.

Miller stated he understood the judge’s comments but still wished to plead guilty, “because I did it.”

The three girls were ages 14, 13, and 11. Members of the Amish community approached law enforcement two years prior because they “were concerned about Miller and his mental state and incidents that had transpired in their community.”

amish buggy wheel

It’s good to see members of these communities reporting criminal behavior like this. It’s unclear how things transpired however in the sense of when it was reported. Did the community try to “handle” this internally, only to eventually seek help when that proved ineffective? Miller’s attorney had this to say: “There is no question there was sex….But sex to them is different. The Amish community has dealt with him in a certain way.”

Regardless they should be applauded for reporting.

The other thing that strikes me here is the length of imprisonment. He will serve only 9 months of a 5-year sentence. Feels very light. After being released, he will spend 25 weeks in a Plain community rehab facility in Pennsylvania. And then I suppose will return to his community. What checks for this behavior will be in place once he’s back in the vicinity of further potential victims?

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    1. J.O.B.

      Disturbing that he only gets 9 months.

      Miller stated that it was not sex because they were not trying to conceive a child. This Amish community is not a healthy one if he really believes that.

      If this Amish community was healthy, this Amish community would never have allowed this crime to happen in the first place and obviously not have waited years to go to law enforcement. It’s good that they finally did go to law enforcement. But should have down so sooner.

    2. Dan Reedy

      Amish Clergy and Mandated Reporting Laws

      Rudy’s admission of guilt relate to the rape of the local bishop’s daughers. He plead guilty to unlawful touching of the oldest who was 14 at the time – and “unlawful touching” hides the true horror of what he has done. In court, we never heard anything more than the charge of one of the rapes

      The prosecuting DA said in court that the victims (now in their 20’s) were vague when interviewed and that, perhaps, they would have been more forthcoming if their parents wouldn’t have been sitting in on the interview. It is not clear why the parents weren’t removed from the interview room – as the girls were no longer minors at the time of the interviews.

      I hope the DA will pursue violations of the Mandated Reporter laws against the Bishop – like schoool teachers, medical professionals and police officers Clergy are required by law to report abuse when they become aware of it. (google “Amish Bishop Mandated Reporting” to see news reports of prosecutions of this crime).

      In this case, when the victims were interviewed, they said Rudy didn’t touch them in a way that their “father would not have approved off”. This is mindboggling as the description of their assault included penetration for all 3.

      This seems to be the crux of the ongoing issue – if Rudy had been reported after the first assault, there might not have been 2 more victims. The Bishop needs to be held accountable.

      1. Brenda

        I Agree!

        I agree with what you have said, Dan. This story is so sad. It hits close to home for me.

        The statement:

        they said Rudy didn’t touch them in a way that their “father would not have approved off”.

        …is so shocking. One can pretty much ascertain that they were told or pressured into saying that. The Amish like to take care of things themselves, however, after he raped three of them I guess that they realized they should get outside help. The thing is, the girls, who I realize are grown now, most likely did not get any help. What they went through will have life long damage without help from a safe and knowledgeable counselor.

        Perhaps they felt pressured to make the statement because their parents were there and they were too embarrassed to say what really happened. It all just makes me so overwhelmingly sad.

        And to know that he will only serve 9 months and most likely go back into the community to reoffend his horrific! I say “reoffend” because most sexual offenders have a very high rate of doing so. It truly breaks my heart at how the Amish handle these things. Most of the time it is a confession from the abuser and a promise not to do so again and he is forgiven and welcomed back. While the girls/women have to live in the same community and perhaps the same family with the abuser. The are like lambs with a wolf prowling about. Wolves eat weaker prey. Offenders prey on the weak and those that they know they can get away with doing so.

        This just breaks my heart!!

        1. Dan Reedy

          Rudy Miller released after 6 months.

          Rudy was released early. Waiting for an answer from the DA’s office about other changes to his sentence. Haven’t found him on the Sex Offender and it is rumored that he was also forgiven his 5 years probation. If that is true (important to establish), it seems that he will not be supervised – despite the horrors of his violent crimes.

    3. DeeDee

      Not on the registry

      If you look on the State of Maine sex offender registry he’s not on it. If you ask me he should regardless if he’s Amish or not.

    4. Tracy Powers

      Wife of offender

      I would venture to guess that the wife of Rudy Miller did not file for divorce. It’s shameful that even the short sentence is 5 years was reduced to 9 months and then further reduced to just 6 months.