Rape charge against teen dropped

Prosecutor: Case lacked enough evidence for trial

GREENFIELD — Prosecutors will dismiss the rape charge a Greenfield teen faces because there isn’t enough evidence of the crime to take the case to trial, officials said.

A girl came forward late last year and told police the teen had held her down and forced her to have sex with him, court documents state.

Justin Miller, 18, of Greenfield, was arrested and charged with a single Level 3 felony count of rape.

This week, prosecutors filed a motion asking a judge to dismiss the case against Miller, saying there isn’t enough evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt – the standard they must meet for a jury to return a conviction.

Hancock County Prosecutor Brent Eaton said it’s common for an investigation to continue even after charges are filed. Attorneys take further statements from those involved in hopes of learning more about what happened to build their case.

In Miller’s case, prosecutors believed there was probable cause to charge the teen with rape based on the girl’s report, Eaton said. But as the investigation went on, they determined it was best to not move forward with the case, he said.

Prosecutors consulted with the victim and the detective who handled the case for the Greenfield Police Department before making their decision, Eaton said. Everyone agreed that dismissing the case was the best way to proceed, he said.

He declined to comment further.

The girl told police she visited Miller’s Greenfield home last summer. He forced himself on her when they were alone together, the girl reported, according to court documents.

The girl said Miller repeatedly tried to kiss her as they were watching a movie together, according to court documents.

The girl told police she tried several times to get away from Miller, but he held her down, she said, according to police reports. She told detectives “no matter she (did), he wouldn’t stop,” according to court documents.

She eventually stopped resisting him “because he was bigger than her, and he was going to get what he wanted anyway,” she told investigators, court documents state.

Greenfield detectives interviewed Miller after the girl’s report was made.

He denied the allegations, saying he never forced the girl to do anything, court documents state.

Miller was represented in the case by Greenfield attorneys Jon Keyes and Phil Sheward, who did not return a call for comment.

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.