Pass / Fail | So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

Second lawsuit filed against Hamilton High music teacher and LAUSD

Front of Hamilton High School
Front of Hamilton High School
Tony Pierce / KPCC

A second civil lawsuit has been filed today alleging sexual misconduct against a popular Hamilton High School music magnet teacher and the Los Angeles Unified School District, an attorney said.

Four students have accused Vance Miller, 59, of sexual misconduct during the mid-1990s through 2010, according to attorney Anthony De Marco, who represents the alleged victims.

Miller’s case is before the LAUSD board today for dismissal proceedings. The 2010 Southern California Oustanding Music Educator of the Year was removed from his classroom in September 2010 because of the allegations.

On Monday, the LAPD opened an investigation into Miller for alleged sexual misconduct with children based on a KPCC report that the popular music teacher had showered naked with students at a local gym. Today, KPCC reported one man, now 39, showered with Miller as a student at Loyola Village Elementary School in 1983.

Miller was well known and respected by the community. He has taught for the district for more than 35 years since his start as a substitute: at Hamilton for 18 years and Loyola for 15 years, according to district records.

A previous lawsuit was filed last April. Both of them cite similar incidents of kissing students on the lips, cheek, massaging them in class, and inviting them to a local gym to shower, De Marco said. In this case, a man in his early 30s said he was sexually abused from 1997 to 1999 by Miller as a student at Hamilton.

“The abuse of [Miller] included fondling, masturbation, kissing, massaging, leering, and graphic sexual counseling including discussion of what acts of homosexual sex would give the greatest pleasure,” the suit states.

After the alleged victim in the first suit filed a police report in summer 2010, LAPD detectives went onto Hamilton High School to interview students and teachers in March and April. They found two students who spoke of uncomfortable behavior in class, according to a police report. The L.A. County District Attorney’s Office did not file charges because of “insufficient evidence,” said spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons. The L.A. city attorney also declined to file charges because of the statue of limitations, according to the LAPD.

Miller declined to comment. His attorney, Drew Antablin, said Miller “adamantly denies” the allegations of abuse and that Miller has a “spotless outstanding record as a fabulous educator.” Antablin said the case will play out in the courts.

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).