, Corbin, KY

Local News

December 22, 2008

Brothers indicted for rape of minors

Lily men among 26 indicted in Laurel

By Brad Hicks / Staff Writer

The two Lily brothers arrested and charged with the rape of an 8-year-old female relative earlier this month have been indicted by a grand jury in Laurel County Circuit Court.

Robert Miracle, 28, and Thomas Miracle, 32, were arrested Dec. 3 and charged with first-degree rape after the victim’s mother reported the alleged abuse to officials on Nov. 17.

Both men were each indicted on nine counts of alleged sexual abuse occurring from December 2006 through December 2007. Each man was indicted on four counts of first-degree rape, one count of second-degree rape, three counts of first-degree sexual abuse, and one-count of second-degree sexual abuse.

After her mother’s report, Det. Charlie Loomis with the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office and a social worker interviewed the victim, the 8-year-old niece of Robert and Thomas Miracle.

The victim told officials that her uncles would take her and her 13-year-old cousin on four-wheeler rides and would abuse them in the woods. The victim also told police that on at least one occasion, one of the men abused her in a bedroom. According to a release from the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office, the victim told police she tried to scream, but her uncle would cover her mouth and threatened to kill her if she told anyone about the alleged assaults.

Both of the girls were interviewed and medically examined by members of the Laurel County TLC House, which offers services to sexually and physically abused children.

Recently, it was ordered the Miracle brothers undergo psychiatric evaluations at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center.

Indictments were also returned against the following:

• Dale Burkhart, first-degree assault, first-degree wanton endangerment (three counts), driving under the influence second offense, open alcohol beverage in vehicle

• Erma Messer, first-degree bail jump

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