High school band director arrested on sex charges

Michael Miller (Source: Bamberg City Police)
Michael Miller (Source: Bamberg City Police)
By Jody Barr - email

BAMBERG, SC (WIS) - The Bamberg Police Department has arrested a high school band director after being accused of having sex with a 14-year-old student.

Arrest warrants allege Michael Miller had inappropriate contact with a 14-year-old girl.

The warrants show that the 36-year-old Miller -- a former employee at Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School -- engaged in sexual intercourse in the school's band room in August and December of last year.

According to the warrants, Miller has been charged with two counts of lewd act on a child and two counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct.

A judge set bond at $20,000. But we're told Miller is now facing charges in Orangeburg County.

Miller was picked up from the Bamberg jail Friday morning and taken to the Orangeburg County Detention Center.

Bamberg Police Chief George Morris told us Orangeburg investigators are looking into allegations that Michael Miller took the 14-year-old to some hotels, and to his home to perpetuate the "affair."

"He made her certain promises and she was truly in love with him, but when it came to light and she realized that he was going to be with his wife, then she began to come forward with the facts," said Morris.

Bamberg County School District 1 Superintendent Phyllis Schwarting said Miller's resignation was effective Friday afternoon. He signed the resignation during bond court.

"I have a very disappointed community," said Schwarting.

Miller's wife, Denise Miller, is the assistant principal at Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School. Schwarting says she was placed on paid administrative leave until Monday.

Schwarting is as shocked as everyone else about the charges. She says Miller was an exceptional employee during his years at the high school. She points to the fact Miller took the band to the state championship and turned the band program around.

Schwarting says education is built on trust. When it's broken, she says, everyone suffers.

"We have to operate on the theory that everybody in education is there for the children and when you find out that's not true, it's very hurtful, it's extremely hurtful on a professional and personal level," said Schwarting.

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.