ALLISON | A Thompson man faces 50 years in prison after being found guilty Friday of two counts of second-degree sexual abuse.
Clarence Miller, 80, was charged with assaulting two 8-year-old girls, one from Thompson and the other from Buffalo Center, at his home between January 2010 and August 2012. The jury spent about two hours in deliberations Thursday and Friday before reaching a verdict.
A conviction on a Class B felony carries a prison term of 25 years on each count. Sentencing is set for 11 a.m. Nov. 26 in Winnebago County District Court in Forest City. The trial was moved to Allison on a change of venue.
Miller is scheduled to stand trial on four additional counts of second-degree sexual abuse involving children on Oct. 14 in Bremer County and on Oct. 28 in Butler County.
Winnebago County Attorney Adam Sauer thanked the Butler County jury for its time and attention.
“Those two girls are extremely brave and it certainly was not easy for them to do what they did,” Sauer said. “This is something that they will have to live with for the rest of their lives. We are definitely very proud of them.”
Miller became acquainted with the Thompson girl through assisting her family with repairs around their home.
The other victim first encountered Miller when he was a substitute bus driver on her route. Miller was later introduced to the girl’s parents by his daughter Sarah, a friend of the girl’s mother.
According to the girls’ testimony, none of the abuse occurred on the school bus.
The girls would go to the Miller home to play games, feed a horse and run around the farm. According to the victims, the abuse occurred when the girls visited and as he drove them to and from his Thompson home.
Sauer said it wasn’t one piece of evidence that led the jury to a guilty verdict.
“The evidence, if you take it together, was overwhelming,” he said.
Taking the stand in his own defense Thursday, Miller denied ever inappropriately touching the girls.
The defense alleged the accusations came out of the girls overhearing conversations between their parents and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation special agent Chris Callaway and Jennifer Hitchcock with the Iowa Department of Human Services.
Defense attorney John Sorensen did not return a phone call seeking comment on the verdict.