Valley News – Claremont man known for supervising children accused of child pornography
Posted: 12/12/2021 21:16:10 PM
Modified: 12/12/2021 21:15:34 PM
BURLINGTON – A 34-year-old man from Claremont known for his efforts to mentor children in the Twin States has been arrested for a felony of producing child pornography, aka child pornography, in Windsor County, Vermont federal officials say .
Wayne Miller, formerly of Hartland, appeared briefly in Burlington U.S. District Court via video from the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, Vermont on Friday afternoon. He was taken into custody without bail.
A prosecutor wrote in court documents that “the criminal complaint establishes instances where Miller sexually assaulted a toddler he knew, and he videotaped the abuse.”
If convicted of the charge, Miller faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison.
Miller “is the founder and director of Living Proof Mentoring, a program that connects black mentors for black youth in Vermont,” according to a 2020 post on Mentor Vermont social media.
The Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force found at least three photographs in an email account on Miller’s cell phone, depicting sexual abuse involving a young child and a man’s lower body, according to a court affidavit .
Miller told investigators he was the man in the photographs, wrote Special Agent Scott Labor of Homeland Security Investigations.
The charges date back to June 2020, when Miller lived at 87 Depot Road in Hartland; He moved from Windsor County ahead of a planned raid on his home this month, records show.
Law enforcement finally raided his apartment at 132 Chestnut St. in Claremont on Wednesday.
During the raid, Miller told investigators they would find child sexual abuse material in his email account on his cell phone, court records show.
Vermont law enforcement is renaming child pornography as “child sexual abuse material” and referring to it by the initials – CSAM.
During the hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara Masterson requested that Miller be detained on the grounds that he posed both a significant danger to the community and a serious risk of absconding.
“He has an obvious sexual interest in children, and he acted accordingly,” Masterson wrote in his request for detention.
She said there were also concerns for Miller’s “precarious mental health.” Miller “recently checked in to the hospital due to his depression and suicidal thoughts.” He was released from the hospital on Wednesday and was housed that evening at Springfield Jail.
His initial court appearance âhad to be delayed because he was under suicide watch at the facility. The government is gravely concerned that Miller will self-harm if he is released, âMasterson wrote.
Trial judge Kevin Doyle approved the detention, also citing the weight of evidence and Miller’s criminal history, the records show. Doyle has set a probable cause hearing for December 22.
The investigation began when Google sent a cyber tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in November 2020 after discovering that a user had attempted to email the material to another account. NCMEC forwarded the e-advice to Vermont Internet Task Force Commander Matt Raymond.
The Vermont task force has obtained search warrants for the two Google accounts involved in the transfer attempt. Through this work, investigators uncovered additional footage, some of which appeared to have been produced by Miller, and learned that the accused likely controlled both accounts, court records show.
Mike Donoghue can be contacted at [email protected]