INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– A special prosecutor has been assigned to City-County Councilman Jeff Miller’s child molestation case.
Miller was arrested in November after two girls claimed he touched them inappropriately in his Fountain Square home. Court documents show Miller told investigators he did not intend for the touching to be sexual in nature.
One of the two alleged victims told authorities Miller “did bad touch” to her at his home on Oct. 20. He’s facing three counts of child molestation.
Miller, a Republican, requested a special prosecutor be assigned to the case because Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry, a Democrat, supported his opponent Emily Shrock in a recent election. Shrock previously served as a deputy prosecutor.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Courtney Curtis responded to the request, saying Shrock was no longer employed at the prosecutor’s office and the case has no bearing on whether she could be seated on the City-County Council.
Curtis said there is no reason or benefit in the prosecutor’s office treating the defendant “more harshly” and it would be up to the jury to serve as the check and balance of this case. Curtis also pointed to the impact of the victims.
“It is unduly burdensome on the minor child victims of this crime to begin again with a new prosecutor,” Curtis said. “Indiana case law has long prioritized limiting the exposure of children to the traumatizing effects of repeating agonizing details over and over again. Appointing a new prosecutor opens these children up to essentially starting again from the beginning.”
On Monday, Judge Mark Smith signed an order appointing D. Lee Buckingham as a special prosecutor for the case. The judge’s order said the move was “in the best interest of justice.”
Miller was expelled from the GOP caucus and removed from all of the committees he served on, but remains a member of the Indianapolis City-County Council.