'Sovereign citizen' guilty of attempted child sex assault
An apparent "sovereign citizen" and drifter who police said sexually assaulted his friend's 11-year-old daughter has pleaded guilty to one of the charges against him.
Keith Aaron Miller, 43, who at the time of his arrest had no fixed address, appeared in York County Court on Thursday, July 26, and pleaded guilty to attempted involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, according to court records. The offense is a first-degree felony.
As part of his negotiated plea agreement, Miller is expected to be sentenced to eight to 20 years in state prison, according to his attorney, chief public defender Bruce Blocher.
His remaining charges were dismissed as part of the agreement, including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, unlawful contact with a minor, unlawful restraint and intimidating a witness, court records state.
Miller's sentencing is set for Nov. 19, according to court records.
He could not be sentenced immediately because he must first undergo a state sex-offender evaluation to determine whether he should be deemed a sexually violent predator, Blocher confirmed.
Miller was committed to York County Prison on May 6, 2017, in lieu of $1 million bail and has remained locked up since, according to prison records.
The background: When confronted by the friend about why he allegedly molested her daughter, Miller allegedly told the woman, "I guess I loved you all too much," according to court documents.
State police said the attempted sexual assault happened in the home of Miller's parents, on Muddy Creek Road in Fawn Township in May 2017.
According to court documents, Miller took his friend's daughter to his parents' house, where they watched a movie. The girl fell asleep on a couch while watching television, police said.
The girl told investigators she awoke, discovered "everything was kind of blurry" and realized Miller was touching her genitals, court documents state.
She said her leggings and underwear had been pulled down, and that Miller was touching her genitals both with his fingers and with his tongue, documents state.
The girl broke free, pulled up her underwear and leggings, grabbed her phone and ran to a bathroom, police said.
Locked in bathroom: She locked herself inside the bathroom and called her mother as Miller knocked on the bathroom door and tried to convince the girl to let him inside, court documents state.
The mother immediately drove to the Fawn Township home to pick up the girl, calling 911 on the way and summoning state troopers there, according to police.
En route, she encountered Miller fleeing from his parents' home and confronted him.
That's when Miller said, "I guess I loved you all too much," police have said.
The exchange was recorded by York County 911 because the mother was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher when she spoke with Miller, documents state.
The mother later told troopers that Miller had contacted her several times during the few hours between the attempted assault and his arrest, asking to meet with her and the girl and saying he wanted the girl to tell police "that it never happened," according to court documents.
During his police interview, Miller repeatedly made comments "pertaining to sovereign citizen ideology" and signed police documents using sovereign citizen terminology, according to court documents.
About sovereigns: According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, sovereigns believe that they — not judges, juries, law enforcement or elected officials — get to decide which laws to obey and which to ignore, and they don't think they should have to pay taxes.
"(A) reasonable estimate of hard-core sovereign believers in early 2011 would be 100,000, with another 200,000 just starting out by testing sovereign techniques for resisting everything from speeding tickets to drug charges, for an estimated total of 300,000," according to the center's website. It continues:
"The weapon of choice for sovereign citizens is paper. A simple traffic violation or pet-licensing case can end up provoking dozens of court filings containing hundreds of pages of pseudo-legal nonsense."
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.