Peoria Air Guard sergeant charged with viewing child porn on government laptop

Local News

A criminal complaint has been filed against an Illinois Air National Guard senior master sergeant in Peoria on charges of viewing child pornography on a government computer.

Following an investigation by the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office, charges were filed against SMSgt. Peter E. Miller of Mapleton on March 21. 

The 20-page criminal complaint states Miller knowingly possessed child porn on a government-issued laptop assigned solely to him. Miller reportedly returned the laptop to another master sergeant because it had stopped working properly. The master sergeant discovered the computer had been infected with malware and when trying to remove it, he discovered child pornography images. 

On March 4, an Air National Guard lieutenant informed police that child pornography had been discovered. 

Investigators then reportedly examined hundreds of images that included nude young girls, between the ages of eight and 10, and other sexually explicit photos of minors, all stored on the computer’s internal hard drive. 

The Peoria County Sheriff’s Office investigation led to interviewing Miller’s oldest son, who said he had only seen Miller use the laptop. 

On March 20, officials executed a federal search warrant on Miller’s Mapleton residence and found that he, his wife and their youngest son were in Florida. The U.S. Secret Service found Miller and arrested him.

Miller was brought in for a detention hearing on Wednesday and will have to go before a grand jury, who will meet sometime in April. 

Miller is being held in the Peoria County Jail and has a Peoria-based attorney. He is expected to plead not guilty. 

According to the complaint, Miller’s wife told agents that approximately 10 years ago, she became suspicious that Miller had sexually abused their oldest son, who would have been about 8-years-old at the time. 

Miller’s attorney says he will plead not guilty.  He also thinks there is not enough evidence to prove Miller is guilty.

Currently Miller is scheduled to appear in court in April.

The United States Attorney sent WMBD a response, saying that a criminal complaint has been filed on SMsgt. Miller, but that a complaint is merely an accusation.  They also say Miller is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

This story will be updated. 

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