Former music teacher arraigned for sex assault after second student comes forward, police say

·2 min read

May 26—A former Westmont Hilltop Elementary School teacher was arraigned late Wednesday, accused of sexually assaulting a second student during his tenure as music teacher, authorities said.

Upper Yoder police Chief John Blake charged Shawn Edward Miller, 53, with felony indecent assault of a victim less than 13. Miller allegedly assaulted a girl — identified as Victim 2 — between between 2013 and 2018.

According to a complaint affidavit, Victim 2 told police on May 5 that Miller would grab her thighs and buttocks and tell her that he loved her and invite her to visit his home.

Cambria County District Attorney Gregory Neugebauer said the "complaint has been fully investigated" before the charge was filed.

The new charge comes on the heals of the preliminary hearing held Wednesday before District Judge Susan Gindlesperger, of Stonycreek Township, where Miller was ordered to stand trial for the alleged rape of another student — identified as Victim 1 — in the school in 2015.

Wednesday's hearing centered on allegations that Miller raped Victim 1 in November 2015 at the former Westmont Hilltop Elementary School, at 675 Goucher St.

The girl took the witness stand to testify about two alleged sexual assaults she said happened in a music room closet.

Assistant District Attorney Matthew Gribler asked her why it took her six years to come forward, and she responded that was "terrified" of Miller.

"He had a lot of power over me," she said. "I was just a student."

In that case, Blake charged Miller with rape of a victim less than 13, statutory sexual assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.

Miller pleaded not guilty through his attorney, David Weaver, of Johnstown.

Blake testified that the charges were filed after a ChildLine report was filed by a mandated reporter and a forensic interview was conducted with the girl on Feb. 9 at Circle of Support Child Advocacy Center in Richland Township.

During Weaver's cross examination, Blake conceded that he gathered no physical evidence, DNA, blood or soiled clothing.

Blake said he snapped photographs of the music room and the closet before the elementary school was demolished.

Neugebauer said the investigation into Miller's alleged conduct is continuing with police investigating "multiple complaints."

Miller was arraigned on the latest charge by on-call District Judge John Prebish, of Cresson, and freed on unsecured bond.