Melvindale man strikes deal in child-sex case

Robert Snell
The Detroit News

Detroit — A Melvindale man who stored child pornography in a house filled with hidden rooms, secret passageways and dozens of surveillance cameras admitted Tuesday to having sexual contact with two girls.

Charles Miller pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct in a deal that could send him to state prison for 20-30 years when he is sentenced June 10. The plea came on the same day Miller was scheduled to stand trial in Wayne County Circuit Court and spares the victims, who are under 13, from having to testify against him.

The victims' mother supported the plea deal, defense lawyer Christopher Kessel said.

"She was not a huge fan of the idea of having to put (the victims) through the trauma of testifying and being cross-examined and being face-to-face with my client," Kessel said.

In exchange, prosecutors dropped several charges, including five counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The plea comes two weeks after The Detroit News wrote about Miller's home and separate child pornography case against the man in federal court. Miller, 59, pleaded guilty to child-porn production and possession in January and faces up to 50 years in federal prison when sentenced in July.

The Wayne County case involved two girls whose photos were found on a camera inside Miller's home. The camera was found in a hidden room under the stairs of Miller's home on Harman.

The hidden room served as a surveillance hub featuring computer equipment and monitors connected to dozens of hidden cameras throughout the house.

Federal agents described the home as a child-porn production studio with drugs, guns and underwear-clad stuffed animals, a house of secrets where young naked girls were filmed and assaulted.

Miller's son, Arthur Miller, 31, of Romulus, is charged with receiving and possessing child pornography. He is being held without bond.

(313) 222-2028