Sex abuse nets foster parent 25 years

Sex abuse nets foster parent 25 years

By Katie Urbaszewski
Staff Writer

A Raceland foster parent was sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually abusing three girls younger than 13, authorities said.

At least one of the girls was his foster child at the time, according to the girl's adoptive mother.

Yancy Miller, 38, 217 Hospital Drive, pleaded guilty Wednesday to three counts of sexual battery after prosecutors reduced one aggravated rape charge to sexual battery, First Assistant Lafourche District Attorney Kristine Russell said.

Prosecutors came to that decision after consulting with the children's family members and guardians, who were concerned about subjecting the girls to a trial, Russell said.

In 2010, police were told that Miller had “inappropriate sexual contact” with a 4-year-old while he was the child's foster parent, Lafourche deputies said at the time.

He was arrested Dec. 3, 2010, and charged with one count aggravated rape and two counts sexual batteries.

The aggravated rape charge stemmed from allegations that he made one of the girls perform oral sex on him, Russell said. The other charges stemmed from complaints that he inappropriately touched two of the girls.

Russell declined to provide the girls' ages or explain how Miller knew them, citing the girls' privacy.

One of the girls has since been adopted, and her new mother said she agreed to the plea deal because she didn't want the girl to testify. However, she said she wishes Miller had gotten a life sentence.

“I don't think he should ever see the light of day again for what he did,” said the mother, whose name is being withheld to protect her adoptive daughter's identity. “He was a foster parent, and he took advantage of kids who were supposed to trust him.”

Miller had been a foster parent for 10 years, the mother said.

State District Judge Jerome J. Barbera III sentenced Miller to 25 years on each charge, which will be served concurrently or at the same time, Russell said.

Twenty-five years is the minimum sentence for sexual battery when the victim is younger than 13 and the offender is over 17. The maximum is 99 years.

Miller said Wednesday he was willing to hear an offer from the prosecution, Russell said. Although prosecutors did not expect him to plead that day, they had already discussed the possible plea deal with family and guardians, she said.

A plea deal “is never extended to a defendant unless that's discussed with victims and their families,” Russell said.

Miller's attorney, Kerry Byrne, said the plea deal “was in the best interest of all parties.” He declined further comment.