Milliken sentenced to life in prison for sexual assault of two minors, no possibility of parole


Eric Milliken (center) looks down as he hears the verdict read that he is found guilty on all criminal counts.

By Staff Report

An area man who was found guilty in November of sexually assaulting and raping two young girls will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

On Monday, Muskingum County Judge Kelly Cottrill sentenced Eric Milliken, a 48-year New Concord resident, to life without the possibility of parole for his life-altering crimes.

Prosecutors had previously said it was the bravery of his victims, willing to testify, that ensured the guilty verdict.

The case also highlighted the work of Gerald Anderson, an assistant county prosecutor, who presented the case, on behalf of the state, in court which ensured that the girl’s testimony, a traumatizing experience that forced them to relive their assaults, wasn’t in vain, assuring that Milliken will never be able to assault another child again.

Milliken first became a recognized local name in March of 2021 when he was reported as a missing person.

In testimony during his three-day trial, it was discovered that Milliken wasn’t missing but fled after he was notified by a Muskingum County Child Protective Services (CPS) worker that he was a person of interest in the sexual assault of a child.

Taking the stand in his own defense, Milliken attempted to say he wasn’t told he was a suspect by the CPS employee, but his lies became apparent to the jury upon cross-examination by Assistant Muskingum County Prosecutor Gerald Anderson.

Between 2015 and 2016, Milliken sexually assaulted and raped two young girls. Neither knew that the other had been one of his victims until after coming forward about their assaults. Both explained in excruciating detail the pain and trauma Milliken inflicted on them.

During the trial, each girl recounted the painful and life-changing assaults that happened to them at the hands of Milliken. The first victim, who was as young as six when the assaults occurred, cried and held the leash to a therapy dog as she went into graphic detail. Milliken showed no emotion during the testomony.

Her testimony appeared to be very impactful to members of the jury, visibility affecting many and making at least one juror herself cry.

Many witnesses testified at the trial, including family members, law enforcement and investigators.

Anderson said that he was proud of the two victims, as well as the thorough investigation by the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office and finally for the attentiveness and diligence by the jurors during the long and difficult case.

On Monday, December 27, Muskingum County Judge Kelly Cottrill sentenced Milliken to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Should he ever be released, Milliken will be required to register as a Tier III sex offender for the remainder of his life.

Following his conviction, the Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office, led by Ron Welch, released a statement. In that release, it said that after years of surviving in silence, the two victims were able to receive justice.

“The verdict was made possible due to the courage and strength of two children who shared what happened to them at the hands of the Defendant years ago,” the statement read in part. “The parents of each child acted appropriately and promptly, contacting Muskingum County Adult and Child Protective Services and the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office.”

Both girls were assisted during their testimony by a facility therapy dog from Harcum House named Ona.

“We are thankful for the courage both child-survivors showed when confronting the man that raped them, by testifying and allowing the jury to hear what he did,” the release continued. “After listening to the children testify, the jury knew they were telling the truth, and returned a guilty verdict on all counts. We hope confronting him and finding justice brings some peace to the survivors and their families.”

In an effort to protect the identity of both victims, details referencing specific testimony and certain background material have been withheld.