NORWICH – “This was one of the worst and disturbing cases I’ve had in my 30-year career,” said Chenango County District Attorney Joe McBride following the sentencing of Thomas E. Miller, 37, of Norwich.
According to McBride, Miller was the adult in a position of authority who let the child be victimized.
Miller appeared in Chenango County Court in front of Judge Biagio J. DiStefano for his sentencing as he had previously entered a guilty plea to the charge of rape in the first degree. His plea was technically considered an “Alford Plea,” which means he did not make an allocution to the court with regard to the crime. According to McBride, this happens sometimes when the defendant understands there is “substantial likelihood” a guilty verdict would be returned if the case was taken to trial.
Miller’s defense attorney Scott Clippinger addressed the court and asked that Miller be recognized as a first-time offender. “We ask that you recognize him as a human being who has succeeded with the exception of this event,” said Clippinger. Defense counsel then told the court that Miller pled to the charge to spare the victim – who is under the age of 13 – from testifying in court.