An 18-year-old Amish man from northeastern Ohio was looking at a possible 11 years behind bars for raping a 14-year-old girl in Parkman Township last June, but was instead sentenced on Feb. 6 to the minimum of three years in prison after the judge and prosecutor in the case took pity on him.
Earlier this week, Parkman Township resident Raymond F. Miller had already pleaded guilty to the rape that he said occurred after he’d been watching porn with some friends, according to The News-Herald.
The incident occurred June 7. Miller knew the victim from the neighborhood and the rape occurred in a shed in a wooded area.
“I am sorry I broke the law,” Miller told Judge Forrest W. Burt. “I am going to try and be a better person; try and get some treatment.”
Miller’s public defender, R. Robert Umholtz, described his client as “an extremely naive person, both sexually and socially.” Also in his client’s favor was the lack of any prior criminal history, making Miller a “low risk to re-offend,” according to Umholtz.
“He is going to have a particularly tough time in prison coming from a radically different culture,” Umholtz said.
The prosecutor in the case against the young Amish rapist said he wouldn't object to a light sentencing.
Miller was originally charged with kidnapping, sexual battery, gross sexual imposition, and, one additional count of rape.
If the judge could have, he would have only sentenced Miller to “community control,” but couldn't because the 18-year-old Amish man will, upon his release from prison, have to register as a sex offender for life – which took community control off the table as a possibility.
After Miller gets out of prison and registers as a sex offender, the judge told him, “You cannot live within 1,000 feet of a school. That includes Amish schools.”
Judge Burt fears for Miller’s future in the penal system because of his small physical stature and Amish beliefs.
“I have to give you prison,” said the judge. “I don’t want to, but I have to.”
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