A man is accused of possessing child pornography and recording massages of his clients without their permission.
And he allegedly did the latter using the oddest of items.
Around 9 a.m. Wednesday, Peoria police arrested Robert Miller, 52, of Phoenix, on one count of surreptitious filming and 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
Peoria police arrested him at his home near Cave Creek and Thunderbird roads after a search warrant resulted in the discovery of hundreds of images of child pornography, sex toys that resemble children and videos of customers during their massages.
The investigation involving Mr. Miller began the evening of Monday, Feb. 10. Peoria police said an extremely aware customer noticed an odd item plugged into an outlet in the massage room, discovered it was a hidden video camera, and contacted police.
Peoria police said Mr. Miller works as a massage therapist with the company name of New Serenity Massage/Pain Management Arizona. He has one location in Peoria — near Thunderbird Road and 94th Drive — and another in Phoenix north of McDowell Road and 7th Street with the name of Urban Wellness. The Feb. 10 incident happened at the Peoria location, records state.
According to police, it appears Mr. Miller was recording customers before, during and after massages he performed.
According to court documents, Mr. Miller reportedly suggested that he had the camera in his massage room to protect himself in case any clients alleged inappropriate actions on his part. He also claimed that the device only recorded audio and that he never reviewed the files. However, police noted his earlier statements and other evidence proving otherwise.
He also initially claimed not knowing there was child porn on the flash drives and SD cards he possessed, saying he bought them at garage sales or second-hand stores. However, police noted printouts and other items of child porn at his home, records state.
"These cases are extremely disturbing for all involved," Officer Brandon Sheffert stated. "We have a group of specially trained and dedicated detectives who deal with crimes such as these. These Special Victim’s Unit detectives have to sort through all of the disturbing evidence and document it all. They are able to do this because they are committed to the victim’s of these cases. Once they go through the evidence, the evidence is stored in our property room which is not accessible to anyone. The detectives do not have to be around the evidence and do not have access to it once it has been entered into the evidence room.
"The department does have resources in place for any employees who may have issues with any cases they may be involved in. "
Mr. Miller was jailed in lieu of a $100,000 bond with court dates Feb. 19 and 21.
Police said Mr. Miller’s behavior would have not surfaced if it was not for the victim coming forward.
“I want to thank the observant and brave victim who brought this forward to our department,” Peoria police Chief Art Miller stated. “And want to thank our detectives for their hard work investigating such disgusting crimes and quickly taking a true criminal off the streets.”
According to New Serenity Massage's website, Robert Miller was a therapeutic and medical massage therapist at the Hilton and Marriot resorts and the Massage Envy in Scottsdale.
Peoria Police are encouraging those with any information regarding this case to contact the Peoria Police Department in one of the following ways: