WINNIPEG —; For years, the name Zachary Miller could not be published or broadcast when it came to reporting a harrowing criminal case in 2006.
Miller’s name was prohibited from appearing in media after a judge ordered a publication ban in the case. Victims and offenders under the age of 18 cannot be identified, unless a judge lifts a publication ban.
While the existing law protects those involved, for the now 20-year-old Miller, it held him back from sharing his story.
“What is a story without a name?” asked Miller in an interview on Sunday. He added that “it was important because of nothing being done to protect our children.”
Miller and his family won a two-year court battle to remove the publication ban in December 2015.
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The Millers shared their story with Global News’ 16×9. He was 10 years old at the time, living on a farm in Saskatchewan, when he became a victim of one of Canada’s most notorious pedophiles, Peter Whitmore.
Miller and a 14-year-old boy, who was abducted in Winnipeg, were held captive in an abandoned farmhouse nearby and sexually assaulted repeatedly for two days before Miller was able to escape.
Whitmore pleaded guilty to the crimes and was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2007. He is currently eligible for parole.
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The Canadian Centre for Child Protection has helped advocate for the family’s wishes over the years. And the group wants to see big changes in how child sex offenders are prosecuted and held responsible.
“We think more can be done to stop other children from being victimized,” said Lianna McDonald, executive director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.
The group has called for stricter sentencing; for repeat offenders like Whitmore to be labelled legally dangerous to society and to have conditions imposed on offenders to be strictly enforced.
“When we are looking at certain individuals, who are this fixated [on children], they are going to look for loopholes,” McDonald added.
Miller said his voice can add to the conversation of how to protect children in the future from pedophiles.
“There’s only parents who have lost everything [speaking]. Their child missing. Gone. And they’re sharing their stories. But there’s no survivor stories out there. And I’m just tired of it.”