Former Operation Phoenix manager sentenced in San Bernardino

A former community center manager in San Bernardino’s anti-crime program was sentenced this morning to 28 years in state prison in his child molestation case.

Michael Steven Miller, 50, was sentenced according to a plea bargain that he had initiated with prosecutors. As part of that agreement, he admitted in March to 10 felony counts of committing a lewd act with a child and one count of a forcible lewd act.

Dressed in green jail garb, Miller sat and listened as one of the victims addressed the court at his sentencing hearing in San Bernardino Superior Court.

“You are not a human being. You have no heart or soul. No regret, no remorse and no conscience for what you did for so many years,” the victim read from a statement to the court.

Prosecutors had accepted Miller’s offer after consulting with the victims and their families. The resolution to the case means the victims will be spared from having to testify in public at a criminal trial, according to Deputy District Attorney Lynn M. Poncin.

Miller had managed an Operation Phoenix community center located on North Sierra Way at what is now Master’s Plan Church of the Nazarene.

Miller was arrested in July 2008. Prosecutors initially charged him with 24 felony counts, which included one each of committing a forcible lewd act with a child and possessing child pornography. The remaining 22 counts were for committing lewd acts with a minor.

The criminal complaint filed that same month in 2008 in San Bernardino Superior Court alleged Miller had three victims, one of whom was connected to activities at the Phoenix center, said Poncin. The crimes occurred from June 1997 to November 1998 and from October 2007 to July 2008.

Read tomorrow’s edition of The Sun for more details.

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