|For Immediate Release
Case # 06WF1974
January 9, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
HUNTINGTON BEACH MAN SENTENCED TO 62 YEARS TO LIFE FOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING 83-YEAR-OLD WIDOW AFTER BREAKING INTO HER HOME
SANTA ANA – a Huntington Beach man was sentenced today to 62 years to life in prison for violently sexual assaulting an 83-year-old widow after breaking into her Rossmoor home. Jeffrey Miller, 38, Huntington Beach, was found guilty by a jury on Nov. 5, 2008, of three counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object by force, first degree residential burglary, and first degree robbery. The sentencing enhancements for committing a sexual assault during the course of a burglary and committing a crime against a vulnerable victim were found true. Miller was also convicted of a prior strike for a 2002 residential burglary.
On July 12, 2006, 83-year-old Jane Doe, a widow who lived alone in Rossmoor, was watching television in the living room of her home of 35 years. At approximately 5:30 p.m., Miller jumped over the fence into Jane Doe’s backyard and broke into her home by removing the screen and crawling through a bathroom window. He threatened to kill Jane Doe if she screamed and demanded money and jewelry. Miller forced the terrified Jane Doe to the floor and hit her in the head and ribs. He instructed Jane Doe not to look at him and sexually assaulted her while wearing gardening gloves.
After sexually assaulting her in the living room, Miller forced Jane Doe onto the floor in a corner of the kitchen and sexually assaulted her using a sink hose. Miller then left Jane Doe on the floor, ransacked her house, and stole jewelry and valuables. The defendant moved the victim from room to room and sexually assaulted her in different rooms of the house.
A neighbor, who knew Jane Doe lived alone, saw Miller jump over the fence into Jane Doe’s yard and called 9-1-1. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) responded with patrol cars and a helicopter. While ransacking Jane Doe’s home, Miller heard the helicopter and attempted to destroy evidence by vacuuming and organizing the house. He then tried to flee the scene by running out the back door of the house, but was arrested by OCSD deputies, who had surrounded the home.
Jane Doe, who lost her family to the Nazis in Czechoslovakia, said that the fear she experienced when Miller broke into her home reminded her of the fear she experienced during World War II. In December 2008, Jane Doe made a victim impact statement and said that she was “petrified,” even in a secure courtroom, to be in the same room as the defendant. Jane Doe said that when she is in her home she continues “to relive the nightmare over and over” in her mind.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Kal Kaliban prosecuted this case.