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Former duPont Manual teacher pleads guilty to possession of child sex abuse material

Jefferson County Hall of Justice
Jefferson County Hall of Justice

Former duPont Manual High School journalism teacher James H. Miller, Jr., pleaded guilty to possessing child sex abuse material Wednesday in a Jefferson County Circuit Court.

According to a news release from the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, Miller admitted to filming a 10-year-old undressing on or between April 1, 2021 and June 30, 2021.

“The incident took place while the minor victim, [Miller] and the victim's mother were staying at a hotel in Louisville,” reads a statement sent by Commonwealth Attorney’s Office spokesperson Erwin Roberts.

According to prosecutors, the victim’s mother found two videos of her child undressing on Miller’s phone several months later, in December 2021.

Miller pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of possession or viewing of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor. Together the charges carry a sentence of three years if served or five years if probated. However, prosecutors say they will object to probation.

Authorities arrested Miller in May after he was indicted on four counts of promoting or possessing child sex abuse material. Miller was the chair of the Journalism and Communications Department at Manual. He had taught at the prestigious public magnet school since 2007 and was employed by Jefferson County Public Schools as far back as 2002, according to personnel records. Miller resigned from his position at Manual position in April 2022, according to documents obtained by Louisville Public Media.

Records also show Miller had been on administrative reassignment from his teaching position for several months before his resignation.

“You are temporarily reassigned from your duties as a Teacher at DuPont Manual High School pending final personnel decisions,” a Feb. 10, 2022 letter to Miller reads from JCPS Director of Labor Management Employee Relations O’Dell Henderson.

“You are to have no contract or communication with faculty, staff, parents of students, or students or be on the campus of DuPont Manual High School.”

Miller submitted his resignation in writing a month later, on March 10, with an April 13 effective date. On April 5, he submitted a second resignation letter “effective immediately.”

“I sincerely apologize for being unable to submit my resignation earlier. The circumstances, which are beyond my control, necessitate this action,” Miller’s April resignation letter reads.

Miller also worked as a freelance writer and wrote commentaries for several local outlets, including WFPL in 2013. He was never employed by Louisville Public Media, which WFPL is part of.

Miller’s guilty plea means he has to register for life on the Sex Offender Registry and enroll and complete the Sex Offender treatment program.

His sentencing hearing is Jan. 31.

Note: To report child abuse and neglect, contact Kentucky’s Child Protection Branch toll-free at (877) 597-2331 or (800) 752-6200, or online. If you or a loved one has experienced sexual assault or harassment, contact the confidential National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-4673 to be connected to a provider in your area.

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Jess Clark is LPMs Education and Learning Reporter. Email Jess at jclark@lpm.org.