BROOKVILLE BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – State Police say a former Brookville Borough Police officer is facing charges for groping a woman at Sheetz while he was on-duty for the department in March.
Lewis Run-based State Police filed the following charges against 39-year-old Justin Craig Miller, of Sigel, on September 15:
- Indecent Assault Without Consent of Other, Misdemeanor 2
- Harassment – Communication Lewd, Threatening, etc. Language, Misdemeanor 3
- Harassment – Subject Other to Physical Contact, Summary
According to a criminal complaint filed at Magisterial District Judge Gregory M. Bazylak’s office, the incident happened at Brookville Sheetz on March 18, 2022, at approximately 10:59 p.m.
Video surveillance reviewed by investigators revealed that the victim, a 25-year-old female, entered the West Main Street convenience store with a second female around 10:57 p.m. After shopping for items, the victim and the second female went to the self-checkout area.
At approximately 10:59 p.m., Miller entered the store with another police officer. Both men were in full uniform and working in an on-duty capacity for Brookville Borough Police Department at the time of the incident.
Miller approached both women and allegedly raised his finger to his mouth to symbolize for the second female to “be quiet.”
He then allegedly used his right hand to grab the victim’s buttocks and groin area.
According to the criminal complaint, the victim was immediately startled and turned to face Miller. The second female approached the group as a conversation ensued.
The victim and the second female left the store at approximately 11:04 p.m.
On March 19, the victim reported the incident to Punxsutawney-based State Police. The investigation was initially assigned to the PSP Punxsutawney Crime Unit; however, it was reassigned to a trooper at Lewis Run-based State Police who does not work in Jefferson County and has no ties to the Brookville Borough Police Department.
During a March 23 interview at PSP Punxsutawney, the victim said Miller “walked up behind her and used his hand to smack her buttocks area” while she was at the self-checkout area.
The victim said Miller hit her buttocks area “pretty forcefully,” and then moved his hand in between her legs and touched her genitals.
The victim said she pulled away from Miller at this point and turned to look back at him as she did not know who was behind her, according to the criminal complaint.
She told investigators that she was afraid she would be arrested if she defended herself.
At this point, Miller allegedly stated to the victim: “You should have seen your face.”
Miller allegedly continued to make comments toward the victim as they walked separately around the store.
At one point, Miller allegedly asked the victim: “When are you going to quit being a (expletive) prude?”
According to the criminal complaint, the victim acknowledged that she knew Miller and they communicated frequently through Snapchat; however, she was adamant that she never had an intimate relationship with him.
The victim told investigators that she did not give Miller permission to touch her and that she felt “violated” during the encounter.
On March 23, police interviewed the female who accompanied the victim to the store on the night of the alleged incident.
She told investigators that she was with the victim at the store when Miller made eye contact with her and put his finger to his mouth as a way to tell her to be quiet.
According to the criminal complaint, the witness said that Miller then approached the victim from behind and groped her with his hand.
At this point, the victim turned to Miller and told him that “he was lucky she didn’t hit him.”
She said that after they left the store following the alleged incident, the victim was shaking and became irate.
She also told police that the victim said she would have hit Miller but he “was in uniform and she didn’t want to get arrested for assaulting an officer.”
On March 30, the Brookville Borough Police Officer who was with Miller at the time of the alleged incident was interviewed at PSP Punxsutawney.
According to the criminal complaint, the officer said he didn’t see Miller grab the victim but did recall him saying “Man, she’s (expletive) hot” when they got back into the patrol car.
The officer also told investigators that he recalled asking Miller if “anything was going on between him and the victim” and Miller said “he wanted to but wasn’t sure what her deal was.”
On March 31, Miller was interviewed at PSP Punxsutawney.
Miller told police that he met the victim through a friend and the victim used him as a reference to gain employment.
Miller said they began communicating through Snapchat or Facebook approximately two to three years ago.
According to the criminal complaint, Miller acknowledged “smacking (the victim’s) butt” and “grabbing ahold of her butt.” He also reportedly told police that “looking back it probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do.”
Miller also told investigators that he had no prior intimate or sexual relations with the victim and was unable to explain why he “felt comfortable walking up and grabbing the victim in public.”
He denied touching the victim’s genital area, according to the criminal complaint.
A representative of Brookville Borough Police confirmed that Miller is no longer employed by the department.
A preliminary hearing is set for October 25 with Judge Bazylak presiding.