Community ‘angry’ after child molesting charges filed against councilman
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Republican Party leader and constituents of an Indianapolis City-County councilman responded on Friday after he was charged with three counts of child molesting.
Jeffrey Miller, 50, was booked in the Marion County Jail on Friday and charged with three counts of child molesting. Court records show he was released Friday night.
According to online court records, Marion Superior Judge Mark Stoner, set to oversee the case, will recuse himself, and a special judge will be appointed.
Jim Merritt, chairman of the Marion County Republican Party, told 24-Hour News 8 he’s waiting for Miller’s formal letter of resignation.
People who live in Miller’s district said they are upset, angry and disgusted after learning about the allegations involving two 10-year-old girls.
According to court documents, the investigation began in October when one of the 10-year-old girls told her parents about what happened.
She told investigators Miller touched her inappropriately at his home on Fletcher Avenue. He massaged her upper legs, patted her on the butt and touched her bra by putting his hand underneath her shirt.
Documents show the girl came forward after watching the news with her parents about someone famous doing the same thing.
During their investigation, the other 10-year-old girl told detectives Miller would massage her foot and back using massage tools. The girl told her mother Miller gave her a piggyback ride and “grabbed her butt.”
For the past six years, Miller has represented the 16th District, which includes the south and southwest sides of Indianapolis. But his career in city politics is likely coming to an end.
“Now that all of these charges have been filed, I don’t know this Jeff Miller,” said Merritt. “We have separated him from the Republican Party. I can’t tell you how angry I am about this situation.”
Merritt said he talked with Miller on Friday, and Miller indicated he would resign from his seat.
“Obviously, he has 30,000 constituents that elected him to the spot, so it’s up to him now to write me a letter and the clerk of the court a letter in Marion County resigning, and I expect that to be on my desk on Monday morning,” said Merritt.
“I dedicated most of my life, most of my career, to legislation dealing with keeping kids safe, and my heart goes out to the victims in this tragedy,” said Merritt. “This is not what the Republican Party is about. This is not what the Marion County Republican Party is all about.”
Merritt said once he receives a formal letter of resignation from Miller, he will call for a special election within 30 days to fill Miller’s seat.
Constituents we spoke to said they agree with that decision.
“I got four children, so someone like that to represent our community and so many kids around here, it’s just scary, and it’s disgusting,” said Amanda Kelley, who lives near Rhodius Park.
“I wouldn’t want him representing my district if anything like that was really going on,” said Madonna Prewiitt, who lives in Mars Hill.