In 2006, a U.S. Postal Inspector was operating undercover in an online chat room when a subject later identified as John William Worthey contacted him. Worthey purchased child pornography from the inspector, prompting a controlled delivery and federal search warrant for his residence. Prior to the search, Worthey confessed to sexually abusing and photographing his 8-year-old niece, who was living with him while her mother was deployed to Iraq.

Assistant District Attorney Kelly Miller was assigned to the case and coordinated her efforts with the local U.S. Attorney's Office. Worthey was charged with 10 violations of North Carolina General Statutes, including 6 counts of first degree sex offense. Despite the earlier confession and the evidence against him, Worthey entered a plea of not guilty.

Following Worthey's arrest, the victim and her father relocated. Miller recognized the impending trauma the victim would face upon her return to North Carolina to face her abuser in court. Miller coordinated the victim's return and arranged for thorough victim assistance through a child advocacy center. Miller was extremely compassionate with the victim; prior to the trial, Miller familiarized the girl with the courtroom and legal proceedings. Miller built the child's confidence and earned her trust.

On May 6, 2009, Miller guided the victim through her testimony before the court. Her interactions with the victim touched those who were in the courtroom. Immediately following the testimony, Worthey entered a plea of guilty and was sentenced to 115 to 142.5 years in the North Carolina Department of Corrections.


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