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Grand jury returns 7-count indictment against ex-Lincoln day care worker accused of sex exploitation of children

Grand jury returns 7-count indictment against ex-Lincoln day care worker accused of sex exploitation of children

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A grand jury has returned a seven-count indictment against a 26-year-old Lincoln man already facing state and federal charges connected to his work at a local child care center.

The indictment charges Titus Miller, who had worked at Playful Painters Child Care since 2016, with the sexual exploitation of five children between Aug. 17 and Oct. 15.

After Miller’s Oct. 22 arrest, the FBI said he allegedly sexually assaulted children and secretly produced photos and videos of his victims.

He had been a night manager at the 24-hour child care facility for children 6 weeks to 12 years of age located near Gateway Mall.

At a short hearing Wednesday, Miller's federal public defender entered a not guilty plea for him to five counts for the production of child pornography, each punishable by 15 to 30 years imprisonment, and two counts of distributing child pornography, punishable by five to 20 years more apiece.

He hasn't yet been set for trial because of the substantial discovery in the case, according to Steven Russell of the U.S. Attorney's Office.

In state court, Miller already is facing four counts of sexual assault of a child — two alleged to be first-degree offenses and two third-degree offenses — involving four children.

If convicted, the first two carry up to 20 years to life in prison and the others, involving sexual contact, up to three years apiece.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, federal laws “typically do not apply to child sexual abuse matters that take place wholly inside a single state." They generally are prosecuted under state laws unless the abuse occurred on federal lands, such as a military base or reservation.

In a news release Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Joe Kelly expressed his appreciation to the FBI and Lincoln police for their quick actions in obtaining a criminal complaint and search warrant immediately upon receiving notification of children being placed at risk of being sexually abused.

Kristi Johnson, FBI special agent in charge, said “today’s indictment is evidence of our continued resolve to find those that prey on children in our community.”

She said the FBI appreciates its partnership with the United States Attorney’s Office, the Lincoln Police Department and the Lancaster County Attorney "in this very important investigation."

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Public safety reporter

Lori Pilger is a Norfolk native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been a public safety reporter for the Journal Star since 2005.

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