Crime & Public Safety / LA Times / LAW & COURTS / URBAN LIFE

[LA Times] Basketball coach accused of sexual battery

MichaelMiller-Print-Header

Basketball coach accused of sexual battery, illegally filming students

OLGA GRIGORYANTS AND DAINA BETH SOLOMON

A Los Angeles basketball coach who ran a program for aspiring collegiate athletes was arrested on suspicion of sexual battery and illegally filming young men in the bathroom of his home.

Michael Miller, 50, who was a prominent coach at Los Angeles City College for 17 years before launching his own basketball school, was released Monday on $50,000 bail.

“We’re looking for anybody who has information,” Aguirre said. “Sometimes men find it very difficult to come forward and talk about their abuse.”

Miller coached numerous high school and college students throughout the state  and while running his school, the Los Angeles College Preparatory Academy, Aguirre said.

“All they wanted to do is play basketball,” he said. “They took instruction from somebody they trusted, and he betrayed them.”

The investigation began in November after four of Miller’s students told police that their coach summoned them, on separate occasions to his East Hollywood home, according to a search warrant. The players said they occasionally showered at Miller’s residence after basketball workouts.

The students discovered a camera filming the toilet and bathtub hidden inside a silver clock, the warrant states. The players, out-of-state students staying at a nearby residence, gave police a memory card that one player removed from the secret camera. The card contained videos that are now evidence in the case, Aguirre said.

Three of the players also alleged that Miller touched them inappropriately, according to the search warrant.

The students told police that they resisted.

At LACC, Miller led the men’s basketball team to 14 South Coast Conference championships in a row and two state championships. He was put on administrative leave in 2009 for allegedly shredding documents and erasing his hard drive while the district was investigating his department for fraud, according to court documents. Miller appealed his dismissal. LACC has since axed its basketball program because of budget cuts.

In 2012, Miller launched Los Angeles College Preparatory Academy. The Gardena-based school aims to prepare high school players and recent graduates from around the country for coveted slots on elite college basketball teams, according to its website.

At least a few of Miller’s recent players have been recruited to play at colleges with respectable basketball programs.

Anyone with information is requested to contact the LAPD Juvenile Division, Sexually Exploited Child Unit at (213) 486-0580.

Originally published in the Los Angeles Times.

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