LAUSD reaches settlement in music teacher sex abuse case
The Los Angeles Unified School District has reached a settlement this week on several lawsuits filed by former students who claim they were sexually abused by a music teacher at Hamilton High School.
Anthony DeMarco, the attorney for the plaintiffs, confirmed that a settlement had been reached late Wednesday but had not been finalized. He said the amount that was agreed upon was confidential.
At least four former students, who were not identified, accused Vance Miller of having sex with them while they attended the high school. Miller, who had been a fixture at the school, was pulled from Hamilton’s regarded music, dance and theater program in 2010, when the allegations began to emerge.
Miller was fired in 2012, around the time that a teacher at Miramonte Elementary School was accused of lewd acts with students.
Shannon Haber, director of communications and media relations for the district, declined to comment.
At least two lawsuits filed by two of the students in 2011 and 2012 claimed that Miller befriended and mentored them, then groomed them into relationships that escalated physically into sexual behavior.
DeMarco said his clients claimed they were sexually abused in the mid-90s and the 2000s. He said at least six additional victims came forward and claimed Miller had also abused them as far back as the 1970s and as early as 2010.
DeMarco said the victims were expected to serve as witnesses for his case.
The allegations surrounding Miller were investigated by LAUSD and the Los Angeles Police Department but did not result in any criminal charges.
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office declined to file charges, citing lack of evidence. The Los Angeles city attorney also declined to file, citing problems with the statute of limitations.
For more Southern California news follow @LATVives
The stories shaping California
Get up to speed with our Essential California newsletter, sent six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.