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Published: Tuesday, 7/1/2008

South Toledo man guilty in rape, burglary

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Miller Miller
HANDOUT NOT BLADE PHOTO Enlarge

Under the cover of night over a period of a few weeks in January, Damon Miller crept into the homes of South Toledo residents - stealing from several of them and raping one woman.

Miller, 33, of 5614 Ryewyck Drive pleaded no contest yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to one count each of aggravated burglary and rape, each with a firearm specification, as well as two counts of burglary.

An additional four counts of burglary and an attempt to commit burglary charge will be dismissed at his sentencing Aug. 13 as part of a plea agreement.

County Assistant Prosecutor Ian English said the three incidents for which Miller was found guilty occurred both within days and blocks of one another.

In each case, Miller entered the homes in the middle of the night while the homeowners slept.

On Jan. 7 at a home on Treetop Court through a sliding glass door and again on Jan. 10 at an Amanda Circle residence through a garage-access door, Miller entered the homes and stole several thousand dollars worth of electronic equipment.

Mr. English said Miller was a suspect in other burglaries around the same time frame, but the charges will be dismissed.

On Jan. 11, in an apartment on Walnut Circle, Miller again entered the residence through a sliding glass door. There he found a 20-year-old woman sleeping on her couch.

"She saw a figure in the living room coming from the area of a sliding glass door," Mr. English said, adding that the door was closed, but it was unclear whether it was locked. Mr. English said Miller pulled the victim off the couch, put an object to her head that he said was a gun, and raped her.

DNA evidence taken from the scene matched Miller's DNA, Mr. English said.

Miller was arrested Jan. 25 after he was stopped by a Toledo police officer for making an illegal U-turn. Items from the two burglaries were found in his car, Mr. English said.

The officer who made the stop took the initial rape report, and questioned him about the sexual assault. Although initially denying involvement, Miller eventually admitted to the rape but denied having a gun, Mr. English said.

Judge Gary Cook told Miller he faces a total of 43 years in prison when sentenced. Miller also agreed to pay restitution for all the burglaries as part of the plea agreement.



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