Brandon Twp. man charged with beating a homeless woman he let live in his barn for sex

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Brandon Township — A 58-year-old man has been charged after allegedly assaulting a homeless girlfriend living in his pole barn in an alcohol-for-sex arrangement, Oakland County Sheriff’s deputies report.

Vernon George Miller Jr.

Vernon George Miller Jr. was charged Saturday with felonious assault and aggravated domestic violence in the incident. Miller was arraigned before District Court Magistrate Michael Bosnic and is free after posting 10% of his $25,000 bond. A probable cause hearing is set for Aug. 2 and an Aug. 9 preliminary exam is scheduled before Clarkston 52-2 District Judge Kelle Kostin.

Deputies said the incident happened July 21 in the 2100 block of Seymour Lake Road in Brandon Township. The woman, 53, said she has known Miller for 40 years and was living in a pole barn on his property because she was homeless. She said she agreed to have sex with Miller, and in exchange, he would buy her alcohol. It is believed she lived in the pole barn for at least several weeks and had a relationship with him earlier.

Miller had permitted the woman to live in his pole barn for several weeks and only opened his house for her in an alcohol-for-sex arrangement, according to a sheriff’s press release Thursday. Miller is accused of breaking the woman’s ribs and ankle after he reneged on the arrangement, deputies said.

“Certainly, it is never acceptable to commit a violent act against another person, but this situation is all the more disturbing,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “It brings in elements of forced servitude and trafficking. We are pleased he is being held accountable for his behavior.”

After having sex with Miller, the victim told deputies Miller became agitated and refused to purchase the alcohol as he had agreed. He began hitting her with his fist, hit her with a wooden baby/pet gate and stomped on her while she was on the ground.

The assault lasted almost 30 minutes, leaving her bloody and bruised, according to the news release. She suffered cuts to her head and face, four broken ribs and a broken ankle. She escaped by crawling out the window and hiding in a vehicle in the pole barn. She called deputies after Miller went to work. She was hospitalized for nearly a week.

As conditions of his bond, Miller is not permitted to have any contact with the victim or to return to his home. He must wear an electronic tether to monitor his whereabouts, is prohibited from leaving the state without permission from the court, must refrain from using alcohol and must contact pretrial services every week.

Deputies said Miller has had several prior contacts with law enforcement. Miller was convicted in 2004 in both Oakland and Genesee counties of fourth-degree fleeing and eluding and pleaded guilty in Wayne County to a drug charge in 2020. A domestic violence charge was filed in 2018 against Miller in Oakland County.

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