Strasburg police have accused a convicted sex offender of loitering near children at the Town Park in August.
A grand jury handed up an indictment in Shenandoah County Circuit Court on Wednesday charging Christopher Todd Miller with one count of standing within 100 feet of a public playground for the purpose of having contact with children not in his custody, after having been convicted of a crime prohibiting proximity to children.
Strasburg police Officer Laura Bridges states in a criminal complaint filed with charging documents that Officer Paul Bernd approached her at 295 Park Road on Aug. 6 and advised that Miller, a convicted, violent sex offender was walking near groups of children and people inside the park. Bridges confirmed Miller’s status with Shenandoah County Emergency Communications and Virginia police that he is not to be present around children, the complaint states.
Bridges detained Miller and, during a search, found a green smoking device containing marijuana in the suspect’s front, right pants pocket, the complaint states. Bridges arrested Miller at 7:12 p.m. on the charges of possession of marijuana and of a violent sex offender near a playground. A judge dismissed the marijuana charge in General District Court on Oct. 22 at the request of the prosecutor.
Miller, 53, of 161 S. Spiker St., Strasburg, has been held at Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail without bond since his arrest.
Miller was convicted in Shenandoah County Circuit Court on Oct. 6, 2001, of aggravated sexual battery and sentenced to three years with two years suspended. The court ordered Miller to complete three years of supervised probation. Aggravated sexual battery carries a punishment of no less that one year nor more than 20 years in a state penitentiary.
Less than five years later, the court convicted Miller of possession of an explosive device by a felon and sentenced him to three years in prison with one year suspended.
Virginia law under which Miller is charged states that “every adult who is convicted of an offense prohibiting proximity to children, when the offense occurred on or after July 1, 2008, shall as part of his sentence be forever prohibited from going, for the purpose of having any contact whatsoever with children who are not in his custody, within 100 feet of the premises of any place owned or operated by a locality that he knows or should know is a playground, athletic field or facility, or gymnasium.”