INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Indianapolis City-County Councilman Jeff Miller is accused of molesting two children following a nearly month-long investigation.
Friday, three counts of child molesting, fondling or touching with child under 14 were filed against the councilman. The charges come after authorities conducted a search at Miller’s home after reports of child molestation surfaced last month.
Marion County Republican Central Committee Chairman Jim Merritt said he accepted Miller’s resignation Friday, and it will be effective on Monday.
A police report filed with Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) investigators on Oct. 20 included allegations of molestation, involving a young girl. According to court documents, police executed a search warrant for Miller’s downtown home the next day.
The warrant directed officers to search for handheld body massagers and massage tools or implements. They were also specifically searching for a massager described as a blue “blob” with a ribbon on the back for a hand as well as a wood massager that is arched with “spikey things that roll.”
The search warrant also told officers to take photos of the inside and outside of the detached garage and any vehicles belonging to Miller. Officers said in the document that photos were taken of a blue Toyota Prius.
According to court documents filed in the case, one of the two alleged victims told authorities Miller “did bad touch” to her at his home on Oct. 20. She was playing a computer game when Miller allegedly came up to her and started massaging her. She tried to squirm away, but he didn’t stop.
This happened the next time she went to the home as well. She said he was doing it subtly and was touching her skin underneath her shirt. Court documents show she said Miller accidentally touched “this.” She didn’t say specifically what, but was pulling at her bra strap.
The victim also said Miller tried to massage her between the legs, but she told him she didn’t like it. She asked once, “Can you stop” and tried to squirm away on other occasions.
Miller is also accused of patting her on the butt. She said nobody saw him do it, but he just kept doing it and would do so every time she was there. Court documents show she demonstrated to authorities how Miller would also touch her side. She claims one time, “he went all the way up and touched.”
She also said he massaged her on her upper legs, where her legs meet her groin.
The “blob” massager was used by Miller to massage her feet. It vibrates when the user pushed in on it. She said on one occasion, Miller moved the massager up her thigh. She got up and went to do something else.
One of the alleged victims said Miller used the blue massager, as well as the wooden one, on a friend’s feet.
She informed her parents of the incidents after seeing news reports “about the famous guy that directs Broadway things and how he has been doing things like this,” court documents show, in reference to Harvey Weinstein.
Her father, after seeing the report with her, expressed to her that she could always share anything with him or her mother.
“I know,” she replied. About an hour later, she told them about the massages. She expressed guilt for not saying anything earlier.
One of the girls told authorities the massages were “pretty normal for them to do.” One time, according to court documents, One of the girls said Miller gave her a piggyback ride and grabbed her butt. She told him to stop, but said he kept doing it.
A parent said she had seen Miller be “very physical” with the children and pick them up in a way she wasn’t comfortable with.
Police interviewed Miller about the allegations on Oct. 21. When asked what would happen when kids came over to his home, he said the kids sometimes go off and play in other rooms. They also play hide and seek or video games.
They sometimes play a game called “Ride the Wild Jeff-beast.” He also said he’ll sometimes give them piggyback rides and they “have back massagers.”
Miller said he felt like if something was bothering the girls, “they should say that they were uncomfortable,” court documents show.
He said that it was okay if they didn’t and said, “I’m not trying to say that as a negative, I just mean, I try to operate in that, the old swimsuit…rule, you know. Don’t touch anybody where the swimsuit covers.”
He also said if anything made someone uncomfortable, that’s legitimate.
When asked if the massages were on top of or underneath the clothes, court documents show he said, “I…thought on top. Now you’re making me try to remember. I’d…I…think she would say something if I was not on top of the clothes…maybe on back, I guess possible.”
He claimed he would always make sure they were comfortable with whatever was being done, and denied ever touching the accusers in their genitals.
“I sure hope not. I don’t believe so, no. No,” he said.
When they asked if he was doing it for some kind of sexual enjoyment, he replied, “Lord, I hope not.”
The accusers’ parents said they were not aware he was using massage items on their children.
Miller (R – District 16), was elected in 2011 to represent the near southeast, south and southwest sides of Indianapolis on the City-County Council. He was re-elected in 2015. His district includes Fountain Square, the Old Southside near Meridian, Mars Hill on the west side, IUPUI, UIndy and White River State Park.
The City-County Council is the chief legislative body for the City of Indianapolis.
Miller is now in police custody. The court has set his bond at $10,000 surety.
Marion County Republican Central Committee Chairman Jim Merritt said he expects to accept Miller’s resignation on Monday. After that happens, a special election will be held to fill Miller’s post.
Judge Mark Stoner recused himself from the case, and a special judge will be selected.
Councillor Jeff Miller resigning is best for the citizens of the district, the institution of the Council, and the people of Indianapolis.
— Michael McQuillen (@mike_mcquillen) November 17, 2017