Local Man Sentenced to 35 Years for Production of Child Pornography

By: U.S. Dept. of Justice; Leon County Sheriff's Office; Julie Montanaro Email
By: U.S. Dept. of Justice; Leon County Sheriff's Office; Julie Montanaro Email
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Press Release: U.S. Dept. of Justice
July 16, 2015

TALLAHASSEE – Ralph Jason Miller, 32, of Woodville, was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison after convictions for using a minor in the production of child pornography and for committing these offenses while required to register as a sex offender. The sentence was announced today by Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida. Upon Miller’s release from prison, he will be supervised by the United States Probation Office for the remainder of his life.

Miller was convicted at a jury trial held April 20-22, 2015. During the trial, the government presented evidence that, in January, April, and July 2012, Miller caused a minor female to engage in sexual intercourse and in graphic sexual displays for the purpose of making visual depictions of these activities. The victim was 14 and 15 at the time of these offenses.

Sheriff’s detectives discovered the child pornography when they executed a search warrant on Miller’s residence on December 4, 2013. The search warrant was based upon reports that Miller had engaged in sexual acts with other minor females.

United States Attorney Marsh praised the work of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, the State Attorney’s Office for the Second Judicial Circuit, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, whose joint investigation led to this successful prosecution. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael T. Simpson.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
June 9, 2015

A Woodville woman - who along with her boyfriend was accused of luring teens for sex and photographing it - is now headed to prison.

This morning, Bethany Tipton entered a plea to six felonies and was sentenced to five years in prison, followed by five years on probation. She'll be a registered sex offender.

Tipton and her boyfriend, Ralph Miller, were arrested in December of 2013. Deputies say they lured girls ages 13 to 17 to their home for parties and took pictures of sexual encounters.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
August 5, 2014

A Woodville man accused of luring girls to his home for sex and then photographing them is now facing federal charges for it.

30 year old Ralph Miller faces a three count federal indictment and court records show he is scheduled to stand trial in October.

Miller was initially arrested in December. Leon County Sheriff's deputies say Miller lured teen girls to his home for bonfire parties and ultimately had sexual encounters with five of them. Those girls ranged in age from 13 to 17 years old.

Deputies also say they recovered dozens of sexually explicit photos of teens on Miller's phone and computer hard drive.

Miller faces up to life in prison if he's convicted of the federal charges.


UPDATED by Julie Montanaro
January 21, 2014

A Woodville man - who is already a registered sex offender - is now accused of molesting five teenage girls.

He is facing dozens of new charges and deputies believe there may be other victims who have yet to come forward.

Deputies say it often started with bonfire parties at a home on Woodville Highway .

Arrest papers say on multiple occasions those parties ended with registered sex offender Ralph Miller either sexually molesting or having sexual intercourse with girls between 13 and 17 years old.

"Some of the victims were photographed, and there were different types of sex acts that were performed with the child and the suspect," said LT Barry Blackburn with LCSO's Violent Crimes Unit.

31 year old Ralph Miller and his girlfriend 21 year old Bethany Tipton were initially arrested in December and accused of having sexual contact with three girls ages 13, 14, and 15. Now Miller is facing even more charges.

Deputies say two more victims - ages 16 and 17 - have come forward and described sexual encounters at the Woodville home.

Deputies say a search warrant there turned up dozens of sexually explicit photos of the teens on Miller's cell phone and computer hard drive.

"We've identified 5 victims, we have reason to believe there are other victims," Blackburn said.

Florida Department of Corrections records show Miller was released from prison in 2007. One of the victims in this case says she began having sex with him in 2011 and deputies began to unravel the sex party scheme when a 13 year old told her school counselor about it.

Right now Miller is facing 90 felony charges.

LCSO deputies are interviewing more potential victims and are asking any other teens who may have had sexual experiences with Miller and Tipton to report it.


News Release: Leon County Sheriff's Office

On Tuesday, December 3, 2013, Violent Crimes Detectives with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office arrested 29 year old Ralph Jason Miller (a registered Sexual Offender) and 21 year old Bethany Alexis Tipton in conjunction with a child sex crimes investigation.

Detectives initiated the investigation after a juvenile alleged an inappropriate sexual relationship with Miller and Tipton. Detectives later confirmed that at least three different juveniles, ages 13, 14 and 15, had been victimized in a similar manner by Tipton and Miller.

Miller and Tipton would pose as father and daughter in order to gain the trust of the victims’ parents and obtain permission for the victims to spend the night at the Woodville Highway residence. Once in the home, Miller and Tipton would have parties and engage in sexual acts in the presence of the juveniles, eventually including them.

Detectives served a search warrant at Miller and Tipton’s residence, which is located at 10829 Woodville Highway. During the search warrant, detectives seized several computers, cameras, digital storage devices and other items of evidence. The electronic equipment will undergo forensic analysis to determine any evidentiary value.

Miller and Tipton were interviewed and taken to the Leon County Jail. This investigation is continuing and additional charges are likely.

If you have had a similar experience with Miller and Tipton, or have any information about this investigation, please contact the Leon County Sheriff’s Office at (850) 922-3300.

ARRESTED

Ralph J. Miller
29 years old
Charges: Lewd and Lascivious Fondling (16 counts), Lewd and Lascivious Exhibition

Bethany A. Tipton
21 years old
Charges: Lewd and Lascivious Fondling (16 counts), Lewd and Lascivious Exhibition


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