Police Reopen Investigation of Hamilton High Music Teacher

Former "Music Teacher of the Year" accused of taking naked showers with students

By Yvonne Beltzer
|  Tuesday, Feb 7, 2012  |  Updated 3:45 PM PDT
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"Teacher of the Year" Fired in Sex Scandal

Vance Miller

Los Angeles police have reopened an investigation into molestation charges against a Hamilton High School music teacher who is now the subject of two lawsuits.

Vance Miller, a 35-year veteran of the Los Angeles Unified School District, was fired by the district Tuesday along with a second teacher from an unrelated case.

Miller, 59, had been named "Southern California Outstanding Music Teacher of the Year" in 2010 -- the same year that allegations of sexual misconduct first surfaced. At the time, Miller was removed from the classroom and reassigned to local district offices, but not placed on administrative leave.

In both lawsuits, the alleged victims claimed Miller befriended and mentored students, and groomed them into relationships that became sexual in nature.

Miller was accused of showering naked with students at a local gym.

The first lawsuit was filed last April by former student.

Since then, the attorney representing that student claimed he's been contacted by eight other students of Miller.

The original complaint also charged the LAUSD with negligence.

The plaintiff in that complaint is now 31 years old. In the lawsuit, he claimed he had a four-year sexual relationship with Miller.

In the second lawsuit, four students accused Miller of sexual misconduct during the mid-1990s through 2010.

After the first victim filed a police report in 2010, Los Angeles police went to Hamilton High School to interview students and teachers.

The police report indicated some students told them about uncomfortable behavior in class, but the LA District Attorney's office did not file any charges, citing insufficient evidence.

The Los Angeles City Attorney's office also refused to file any charges noting the statute of limitations.

The veteran teacher adamantly denied the abuse allegations and has a "spotless outstanding record" as a teacher, said his attorney.

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