By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Keegan Hamilton and Francisco Alvarado
By Jake Rossen
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
By Chris Joseph
By Michael E. Miller
She tried to avoid being alone with him in the band room. But on April 13, he asked her to come by. Frightened, the girl begged her sixth-period reading teacher not to excuse her from class when Miller came to the door. Wondering if the girl might be in some kind of trouble, the teacher instructed her to go to Miller's room after she finished her work.
The desperate girl spotted another teacher in the hallway and told her how much she didn't want to go. Yet this teacher escorted her to the band room and left.
Miller took her into the band equipment room, the girl told Mintus, and locked the door. He asked if she wanted to have sex. When she said no, he spun her around, bent her over a countertop, and forced himself on her from behind, according to Mintus' probable-cause affidavit.
Miller stopped only when he was interrupted by a knock at the door, court documents claim. He ordered the girl to stay quiet, grabbing the bracelets that were jangling on her wrists. She wiped the tears from her eyes and stayed silently in the room while Miller pulled up his pants and answered the door. When he came back, he told her to leave.
Two days later, as the traumatized girl sat in a school counselor's office crying, Miller banged on the door. "What's wrong, what's wrong?" he demanded, according to the counselor, Nicole Henesy, who gave a sworn statement to Mintus.
Henesy noticed that Miller's leg was shaking. He asked to speak to the girl in private. Henesy refused to leave, so Miller stormed out of the office.
A few minutes later, he came back with another female student. He turned to the second girl, asking, "Is [the 16-year-old] saying she's scared of me? Why is [she] saying she is scared of me?"
Neither girl would meet his eyes. Miller blustered out the door. Later, Henesy told Mintus, she saw Miller pacing the hallway, waiting.
The 16-year-old told Henesy that there were more victims, including at least one friend of hers who had said she had sex with Miller. It was the 14-year-old girl whom Miller drove to school every day, Mintus discovered, the one who said Miller was like a father to her.
At first, the girl told Mintus she'd never had sex with Miller. But three days later, on April 20, her mother called Mintus and asked him to come to their house for another recorded interview. This time, the girl admitted that she and Miller recently had sex twice in the band uniform room. She went with him willingly, she told Mintus, and the sex was "consensual" — although by law, a 14-year-old cannot consent.
Miller had her sit on his lap and then directed her to get down on all fours on the floor. Afterward, he would wipe up the evidence using a T-shirt or a blanket.
Two other 14-year-old Watkins students admitted that Miller had hugged and groped them as well. One was visibly frightened as she spoke to Mintus. Her cell phone kept ringing and beeping with text messages during her interview, and she looked embarrassed.
"I don't want nothing bad to happen," she said.
"What makes you think something bad is going to happen?" Mintus asked.
"Because this isn't right," she said.
Miller would sometimes keep her after class so she could straighten up the instruments in the band room, she explained. Once, when they were alone, he asked "if I feel like doing anything."
But "I don't like him like that, in that way," she told Mintus. Still, she allowed Miller to kiss and grope her several times. When it happened, she told Mintus, she felt "like I'm not there. Like my mind is not there."
She could never get the courage to tell her teacher that she wanted him to stop. "I agreed to him but..."
"But you don't, you don't want to do it anymore?" Mintus asked.
"No," the girl replied.
Miller grew more nervous as the investigation continued. In a recorded interview with Mintus, he twisted in his seat, asking anxiously, "What's this about?" Mintus wrote.
When pressed, he admitted that he kissed one girl. But he blamed it on the February shooting.
"I have been so fucked up lately," Miller said. "I've spent all my money. I've been... I've just been freaking out. I've been staying out late because, to be honest with you, I haven't quite got my mind right since February 16th."
"What's going on, man? I'm a Christian," Mintus said in the interview transcript. "I'm not here to judge you."
"OK," Miller replied. "A man took six shots at me, and I killed him. And ever since then... I haven't... I almost feel like I shouldn't have made it out of there. And I've been acting like that.
"I've been running around acting like I'm fine, and every time somebody gives me any affection, it's... I say I almost welcome it, but I haven't done anything to hurt these kids."
He explained that one girl would come and give him a hug and a kiss every day, and he was grateful for the compassion. "And I'm not saying that's right," Miller said. "But I don't walk around this place smiling, and I see people looking at me like he killed somebody. You have no idea what that feels like, when people are looking at you like he's a murderer."