Berlin Priest Accused of Sexual Talk with More Boys, Possessing Child Porn
By David Owens
June 26, 2012
A priest already facing felony charges that he engaged in sexual talk with young boys is facing additional charges, including possession of child pornography and four more cases of the priest having sexually charged conversations with young boys.
The new charges arose out of searches of the hard drives of the Rev. Michael Miller's three computers, which were seized by police at the time of Miller's initial arrest on July 12, 2011.
Police said a search by forensic examiners at the New Britain police department turned up evidence of chats via Facebook with two 16-year-old boys, a 17-year-old boy, three 15-year-old boys and a 13-year-old boy. Police focused their efforts on the Facebook chats with the boys younger than 16.
The conversations with the 13-year-old resulted in Miller's arrest last year. The three 15-year-olds are new victims, police said. An additional 15-year-old boy was discovered during the investigation, police said.
The 15-year-olds told stories similar to the 13-year-old's. All received friend requests from a Brendan Duvey, who Miller admitted to police was an alias he used on Facebook, according to the warrants for his arrest.
The conversations at first were innocent and focused on computer games, religious issues, and activities at St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church in Berlin, where Miller was a pastor and the boys were church members or students in the church's parochial school. One boy told police that he also talked on the phone and by text message with Miller, according to the warrants.
Miller would eventually try to steer the conversations to sexual topics, and describe in graphic detail what he saw in pornographic movies he watched, describe his sexual experiences with men and women, tell the boys he was bisexual, and what kinds of pornography he enjoyed, according to the warrants.
In one Facebook conversation recovered from one of Miller's computers, he told one of the 15-year-olds that he was "sexy" and that he wanted to have a threesome with him.
The boys said they had no physical contact with Miller. Some said they tried to direct the conversations away from sex, or stopped communicating with the priest.
Police said they also recovered five videos from Miller's computer depicting what appeared to be child pornography. The children engaging in sex acts in the videos appeared to be as young as 6 years old, according to the arrest warrants.
Maria Zone, a spokeswoman for the Hartford Archdiocese, issued this statement Tuesday regarding Miller: "The Archdiocese of Hartford and the Franciscan Friar Conventual (Father Michael's religious order) were shocked to learn the details on three recent arrest warrants for Michael Miller, all referring to allegations from 2011.
"The safety of children is of utmost importance to us, and the allegations against Miller are deplorable. The Archdiocese is offering assistance through its Safe Environment for Children program to any of the alleged victims and others who have experienced abuse. Those interested should contact Sister Mary Kelly at 860-541-6491. As previously stated, if found guilty of the charges, Miller will never return to ministry."
Miller is free on bail totaling $450,000. He is due in court July 9 to answer the new charges.