- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) - The owner of a Long Island religious supplies store pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexually abusing a teenage employee and then trying to hire someone to kill the victim so he couldn’t testify at trial.

Daniel Miller, 47, admitted in court that he drugged the 17-year-old boy with lorazepam, an anti-anxiety medication, and then sexually abused him while the teen worked at his Santaria store in Inwood in January 2012. Prosecutors said the teen woke up at 4 a.m. the next day at Miller’s home.

While he was in jail and awaiting trial on those charges, Miller allegedly offered to pay $15,000 to have the victim killed and make it look like a cellphone robbery to prevent him from testifying at trial, prosecutors said.

Authorities said Miller also asked a relative to have someone make a Voodoo doll of the victim and stick it with pins and knives and use dirt from the teen’s house and his photo in a ritual that was intended to give the victim cancer.

Miller pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges that include sexual abuse, conspiracy and criminal solicitation and is expected to be sentenced to nine years in prison and 10 years of post-release supervision when he is sentenced in June.

His attorney, Bill Shanahan, said Miller could defend himself in the cases, but felt that nine years would be “an appropriate punishment.”

“He’s glad that this is being put behind him,” Shanahan said. “He has a mother and a sister who are both very ill at this time and he’s happy because he doesn’t want them to suffer any further.”

A confidential informant contacted police about the plot before he met with Miller at the jail, where Miller told him his family members could provide the victim’s information. Miller’s mother, a secretary at the victim’s high school, allegedly stole records that showed the teen’s name and address, authorities said. Miller’s mother and sister were both charged and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in 2013.

Miller also pleaded guilty Tuesday in an unrelated case that alleged he stole more than $200,000 in a check-fraud scheme.

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