A well-known former journalism teacher at duPont Manual High School pleaded guilty to child pornography charges Wednesday stemming from videos police say were found on his phone.
James H. Miller, 50, accepted a plea agreement Wednesday from the Commonwealth's Attorney Office, pleading guilty to the two charges of possessing matter portraying a sex performance by a minor.
He was initially charged May 25 with the two above charges, as well as two counts of promoting a sex performance by a minor under 16 years of age, according to court documents.
After being charged, Miller was arrested in Mississippi and released on bond.
He will be sentenced Jan. 31. The prosecutor's office suggested a sentence of three years imprisonment or five years of probation, according to the plea agreement.
The videos found on Miller's phone, according to court documents, showed Miller was filming a child undressing. The child was 10 years old at the time.
The videos were recorded between May and June 2021 when the child, the child's mother and Miller were staying at a Louisville hotel. Miller and the child's mother were dating, according to court documents.
The mother later found the videos on Miller's phone in December 2021, according to court documents.
"No public school children were involved," said Erwin Roberts, of the Commonwealth's Attorney Office.
When was Miller last in a classroom?
Miller is no longer employed by Jefferson County Public Schools after submitting a letter of resignation on March 10, though he hadn't been in a classroom since January 12. His resignation was effective in mid-April.
"One of the greatest, most challenging, and most fulfilling tasks of my life has been working at duPont Manual, my alma mater," Miller wrote in his resignation letter to Manual Principal Michael Newman. "Unfortunately, and with great regret, I must submit my resignation, effective April 13, 2022, due to personal circumstances beyond my control."
JCPS spokeswoman Carolyn Callahan initially said she did not know if Miller had been under district investigation when he resigned, but it was later determined Miller had been reassigned to a non-instructional role in February after the district learned of law enforcement activity.
Student journalists at Manual said on social media Miller left school abruptly. They were told he was out on leave to handle personal matters.
What was Miller's role at Manual?
Miller became the department chair of Manual's Journalism & Communication magnet in 2006, according to a resume he posted online. Before that, he worked at Shawnee High School.
He joined the district in 2003.
His journalism students have won several awards, including the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and the inaugural RFK New Voices award for their 2020 series "Bigoted Badges," exposing Kentucky State Police's use of Nazi imagery and Hitler quotes in their training materials.
Aside from teaching, Miller has worked as a freelance journalist and is the co-founder of the Kentucky Journalism Teachers Association.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Ex-duPont Manual High teacher James Miller pleads guilty to child porn