Zachary Miller of Whitewood, Sask., has spent years fighting to get his story told.
When he was just 10 years old, Miller was kidnapped and sexually assaulted by one of Canada’s most notorious pedophiles, Peter Robert Whitmore.
“He repeatedly raped me for hours on end. And once he was satisfied with what he did, he put me to work cleaning things.”
This is the first time Miller has been able to tell his story in public. In December 2015, Miller went to court to have the publication ban on his identity lifted, which was put in place because he was a minor when the crime occurred. He was successful.
READ MORE: Convicted pedophile Peter Whitmore’s criminal history full of red flags and warnings
“Sometimes you just gotta show your side of the story,” Miller said. “You’re just a regular person trying to live your life after what happened.”
It was July 30, 2006 and Miller had a play date with the new kid in town; a teenage boy who just moved to Whitewood with his supposed uncle, Whitmore.
“We take off for a bike ride, and we decide to go to a place about two miles from here by the farmyard,” Miller said.
READ MORE: Following the path of a sexual offender
The boys made their way to an abandoned farm and went to the old garage to explore.
Out of the blue, Miller says he was grabbed from behind, duct tape was slapped over his mouth and he was thrown into a van.
His abductor took him to a vacant house roughly 20 minutes away.
That abductor was Whitmore.
A photo of the vacant house where Peter Whitmore kept Zachary Miller 16×9
A photo of the vacant house where Peter Whitmore kept Zachary Miller
“I get taken out of the van. I get a dog leash put on me, and I get dragged into an old abandoned farmhouse that has all the doors nailed shut. All the windows are closed up.”
For two days Miller was beaten and sexually assaulted.
“I tried to fight him off but he would just beat me until basically senseless.”
It wasn’t the first time Whitmore had committed a sexual offence. Prior to kidnapping Miller, he was convicted for sexual offences against seven kids, and was sentenced to jail five times.
“You’ve got a guy who is fixated, who is motivated, who has abducted before,” explains Christy Dzikowicz, who is the director of child safety and family advocacy division Canadian Centre for Child Protection.
“So the sentences he’s received over the years for the crimes he’s committed against children for the lives he’s ruined have been an understatement to say inadequate.”
In fact, Whitmore was released early three times during his prior convictions.
This is especially problematic considering Whitmore’s file was littered with red flags indicating he would abuse again.
Documents 16×9 collected showed repeated warnings made by the National Parole Board and psychologists highlighting Whitmore was at high risk of re-offending.
“We’re not rehabilitating, we’re monitoring, [and] we’re managing the risk,” says Dzikowicz, “And right now we’re not doing a very good job of that.”
16×9 reached out to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Jody Wilson-Raybould, to ask how she intends to deal with high-risk sexual offenders. She turned down our interview request.
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It’s been more than nine years since Miller was kidnapped and assaulted by Whitmore. He is 20 years old now.
Miller is still dealing with what happened to him as a boy but those who really know him, know how far he has come.
“You go from a little 10-year-old boy who has no cares in the world to being worried about who’s going to come up your driveway, who’s gonna be there at night. Just a dramatic change that you can’t prepare yourself for,” says Miller. “I’ve changed a bit from what happened, but I’m still the same kind of person.”
To hear more about Zachary Miller’s story, watch 16×9 Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, at 7pm and read the full report.
If you are a victim or are concerned about someone in your life contact the Canadian Centre for Child Protection for support or more information.