UPDATE: Trial Against Former Benton County Attorney Delayed
FOLEY (WJON News) -- The trial of a former county prosecutor accused of sexual misconduct with a teenage girl has been delayed.
The trial against former Benton County Attorney Philip Miller was scheduled to start Monday. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon to determine how to proceed.
Court records show both of Miller's lawyers had family emergencies and weren't able to attend the scheduled start time.
Miller is charged with two counts of 2nd-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim under the age of 16. The 62-year-old is charged with groping a 15-year-old girl both over her clothing and underneath her clothing in March 2020 and again "one or two months" after the first incident.
Court records allege the girl was in her bed when Miller came into her room and sexually assaulted her on those occasions.
Members of the victim's household testified that the girl had become withdrawn and would try to avoid being around Miller.
Court records show Miller was interviewed by investigators and denied ever groping the girl or touching her anywhere else that would be of a sexual nature.
The charges have been filed in Benton County District Court, but the case has been referred to the Dakota County Attorney's Office for prosecution to avoid a conflict of interest.
In a written statement from Miller's attorneys Christa Groshek and Katherine Claffey...
"Mr. Miller staunchly denies the allegations and asserts his innocence - which he has been doing since the inception of the investigation. Mr. Miller provided a voluntary statement to the police and denied the allegations. As a veteran prosecutor, Mr. Miller respects the court processes and has faith that the truth will come out and the public will see these allegations are false. As he has afforded thousands of defendants due process of law, he hopes that he is allowed the same.
"We reiterate that charges are only allegations and they themselves are not proof of any wrongdoing. The prosecutor will now have to attempt to prove allegations beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a unanimous 12-person jury. Mr. Miller is confident that the State will fail in this endeavor, and he looks forward to his trial."
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