According to WTAJ, a former teacher is facing multiple sexual assault charges while employed at Westmont Hilltop Elementary.
Former music teacher, the 53-year-old Shawn Edward Miller, faces charges that date back to 2015. The victim, then a fourth-grader, reported to her parents in 2015 that Miller had sexually assaulted her during periods when she would be asked to stay after school. Her parents discussed the allegations with the school. Police began an investigation and uncovered earlier reports of the teacher inappropriately touching a different student in 2011. This incident did not meet the threshold of indecent assault, and he was allowed to continue working for the school district.
Police documents revealed that the Cambria County District Attorney’s Office threatened the district to take action or charges would be filed. The district ordered Miller to attend counseling, take a psychosexual evaluation, watch PSEA’s Training Videos, and volunteer for a polygraph. The former teacher refused the polygraph.
In 2019, Miller was placed on administrative leave. He resigned in January 2020 following a meeting that revealed 20 to 30 complaints of inappropriate touching. Miller is now facing charges that include raping a child, statutory sexual assault, multiple charges of sexual intercourse with a child, and multiple instances of sexual assault.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent has spent years advocating for sex abuse victims and their families in civil lawsuits. It is through his experience as a school sex abuse attorney that he helps them get the justice and financial compensation they deserve. Brian highlighted some information regarding a victim's legal right to seek justice if sexually abused by an elementary school teacher.
"Elementary schools are supposed to be a safe place for young children to learn and socialize without the fear of preventable dangers, such as sexual abuse. School districts have a legal duty to ensure their students are reasonably safe by implementing basic security measures. These often include surveillance cameras in common areas and following up on all reports of misconduct. Additionally, it is up to the district to vet all employees by conducting frequent background checks. If the school district or school officials neglect these safety procedures, they could be held liable in a civil lawsuit."
"If abuse occurs and an elementary school teacher is accused of sexual misconduct, an investigation should be made into the incident. Unfortunately, some instances of abuse happen due to the negligence of the district. If prior reports of misconduct were ignored, the school or district could be considered negligent for failing to prevent further abuse. Victims and their families may have reason to pursue a lawsuit against the school district or officials in instances of neglect. They should reach out to an experienced school sexual abuse victim attorney to determine their best legal actions."