Amish man pleads not guilty

WARREN – An Amish man from West Farmington pleaded not guilty Monday to six additional sex charges and saw his bond increased from $250,000 to $350,000.

Daniel Miller, 46, of 6618 state Route 534, remains in Trumbull County Jail pending his next pretrial hearing, scheduled for March 4 in front of Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Peter Kontos.

In all, Miller faces 17 counts, including five counts of rape that carry potential life sentences. He also faces 11 counts of gross sexual imposition and one count of sexual battery.

The charges pertain to five girls from the nearby community – two of whom came forward to authorities last week after an initial 11-count indictment in January that involved three girls who were younger than 13 when the attacks occurred.

The case has attracted attention in the Amish community of Mesopotamia, Farmington and Middlefield.

More than a dozen members of the local Amish community showed up for Monday’s arraignment as they had done during Miller’s initial appearance in front of Kontos.

One man, who declined to give his name, said most of the group who came from northwest Trumbull County were either there out of concerns in the case or to express their support. He declined to be specific.

The assistant county prosecutor asked Kontos for a $1 million bond, and defense attorney Alan Matavich countered with a request for a reduction to $100,000. Kontos settled on $350,000, raising it from an initial $250,000 bond.

The latest victims – now ages 17 and 21 – came forward since seeing news reports last week. Wildman said the victims were ages 5 and 8 at the time they claim Miller attacked them.

One of the victims alleges she was raped twice and molested twice by Miller, and another victim has reported one rape and one act of gross sexual imposition that occurred between 2000 and 2002.

Wildman said the initial charges came to light when victims were interviewed for an unrelated but overlapping investigation by Children Services. More than one of the victims also had disclosed certain allegations to family members.

By that time, Wildman said Miller had been taken by members of the local Amish community to a counseling or treatment center in Cumberland County, Pa., where he was eventually arrested.