Man accused of fondling woman at Gastonia TJ Maxx posts bond after turning self in


GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) - A 39-year-old Mooresville man who was wanted for allegedly fondling a woman inside a Gastonia store last month turned himself in Thursday morning.

Robert Lee Miller, of Mooresville, is accused of inappropriately touching a woman inside a T.J. Maxx and running off, Gastonia police say.

The victim told WBTV that she had been shopping inside the Cox Road store on Jan. 27 for about 45 minutes when she was attacked by a man she says groped her, performed a sex act and left evidence on her clothing.

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"I was out in the open, on an aisle, like at the end of an aisle," the woman said. "You say it couldn't happen to you, but it could.

She says another shopper heard her scream and ran to get help. Miller then allegedly left the store but his image was captured on a security camera.

Miller was arrested around 2 a.m. Thursday morning and charged with sexual battery. He was given a $100,000 bond but has since been released.

"How can a man do that to somebody that they have no idea who they are," the victim said.

She says she was relieved to find out a warrant was filed for Miller on Tuesday. "It's exhausting to wake up every day and wonder have they caught him yet."

Seeing his face in photos, she says, takes her back to the trauma. "I have to relive it every single day."

The event has changed how she looks at life, she says, and how she will go about activities that used to be normal. "Every time I go into a store I'll always wonder who's watching me…anybody that looks like him, it'll scare me."

Court records show Miller was also charged in 2012 for misdemeanor "peeping Tom" and was let off on probation.

In 2012, Miller was accused of taking pictures of a 12-year-old girl in the dressing room of a Target on Sam Furr Road in Huntersville. Surveillance video reportedly showed Miller putting his cell phone over the barrier in the dressing room and taking pictures or video of the girl, Huntersville police said.

Police said Miller was also using his cell phone to take pictures or video up a woman's skirt, as she walked up and down the aisle.

Miller was released around 9 a.m. and his next court date will be Feb. 27.

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