Alleged incest victim protests plea deal in Jeff Davis

JEFF DAVIS PARISH, LA (KPLC) - A woman who was allegedly the victim of molestation and rape between the ages of eight and 14 is speaking out against a plea deal in the works for the man accused of victimizing her.

The Jeff Davis Parish case was headed for court on Wednesday, but now appears to be on hold.

Since Friday, Mandi Miller and her relatives have been trying frantically to derail a plea deal for the man she says stole her innocence and caused her unimaginable suffering as a child.

In September 2011, Miller's step grandfather, Gerald J. Johnson, was indicted on a charge of aggravated incest.

She says the case was set for trial toward the end of this month when the District Attorney's office notified her of a proposed plea deal that she finds unacceptable.

"Jeff Davis Parish D.A. Michael Cassidy has accepted a plea deal from aggravated incest to indecent behavior with a juvenile and the sentence is four years, house arrest. It started when I was eight and continued until a few months after I was 14," said Miller.

Family members of Mandi Miller have come from as far away as Dallas to support her. If they can't stop what they consider to be a huge injustice, they at least want to expose it.

"I think it's the absolute most depraved thing one could do, to rob a child of their innocence," said Beau Guidry, Mandi's uncle.

Guidry and other family members say they cannot get an adequate explanation as to why the D.A. would consider a plea bargain so unfavorable to the victim.

Larry Langley is Mandi's father.

"Just to be incarcerated in his home is a travesty and is a slap in my face, as well as my entire family and we're not going to take it laying down. We're going to fight it all the way through," said Langley.

District attorney Mike Cassidy refused to speak to KPLC, but he did speak to KATC in Lafayette.

"In exchange for a guilty plea, we're getting a guaranteed conviction, we're preventing the victim from having to be further traumatized by getting on the stand, we're avoiding any mistakes that would occur and certainly we're also ending the case and bringing closure versus having the whole appellate process," he said.

However, victim Mandi Miller is willing to testify.

"I would love to get on the witness stand and tell a judge and the jury exactly what this man has done to me," said Miller.

Johnson is represented by attorney Ron Richard who says they have no comment at this time.
Johnson was to appear in court in Jeff Davis Parish on Wednesday but we're told that's on hold now.

Johnson's bond was set at $250,000. He bonded out three days after his arrest in September 2011.

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