Marcellus teen gets probation for abuse

Published 5:00 am Saturday, March 23, 2024

CASSOPOLIS – An area teen who abused young girls over a number of years was sentenced to probation and jail Friday in Cass County Circuit Court.

Miller

Jacob Allen Miller, 19, of Marcellus, pleaded guilty to assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and was sentenced to three years probation, 365 days in jail and $2,838 in fines and costs.

The incidents occurred over a number of years in Newberg Township as well as at locations in Indiana. The most recent incident occurred in November and December of 2022. More serious felonies which would have required him to register as a sex offender were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Some of the victims as well as the victims’ father spoke before the sentencing. They said they forgave Miller.

Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz said his job isn’t to talk about forgiveness. “My role is different, I have to address public safety as a whole and the severity of the offense,” he said. “He did something really really bad and it can’t minimized.”

“There’s a significant different between forgiveness and accountability,” Fitz added. “He will have to ask for forgiveness every day of his life and this will stick with his victims for the rest of their lives. It’s good that he sought support and it’s good that he confessed … but he needs to pay the consequences.”

Cass County Circuit Judge Mark Herman noted that while it was Miller’s first involvement with the criminal justice system, he could have faced much worse punishment including prison and lifetime electronic monitoring without the plea agreement.

“Your actions justify consequences,” the judge said. “Forgiveness is something you need to seek the rest of your life and there needs to be some accountability. You also need to realize that this is a situation where any future misdeeds will cost you dearly.”

Judge Herman denied the defense request that Miller serve the probation under the Holmes Youthful Training Act which would have allowed him to keep the felony off his record. He also kept a no contact order in place.