Former Airdrie teacher sentenced to 28 months
Judge encourages Miller to use education background while incarcerated
By: Matt Durnan
| Posted: Thursday, Dec 05, 2013 10:58 am
Former Airdrie teacher John Christopher Miller was sentenced by Judge John D. Bascom to 28 months in prison for sexual exploitation on Nov. 29 in Airdrie Provincial Court.
Miller, a 36-year-old former teacher at George McDougall High School was arrested and charged in October 2012 after it was alleged that he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old female student.
He was arrested again in December for breach of recognizance after he went to the school in an attempt to contact the student.
He entered a guilty plea to sexual exploitation charges and breach of probation at his trial on Oct. 10, 2013.
During the trial, Miller expressed remorse for his actions and the pain he had caused his wife, and the student.
“I take ownership for my actions and I have been living with a great deal of guilt,” said Miller.
“I apologize to the school and the community for any damage I’ve caused, I will miss teaching. I apologize to the victim for any pain and disturbance I’ve caused to her life, and I apologize to the mother of the victim.
“To my wife and children I’m sorry, I am taking the steps needed and acknowledging that I need to change. I know that rebuilding my marriage will take time; I will allow the victim to move on unhindered and I can’t bear the thought of causing her this pain again.”
Miller will serve an additional one day sentence for breach of probation, an offense that normally carries a sentence of 30 days, but was reduced to one for Miller for time already served while he was under psychological evaluation from Dec. 24 2012 to Feb. 11, 2013.
Bascom urged Miller to make use of his background in teaching while he is incarcerated.
“Many people in prisons have minimal education, I would encourage you to use your background in education to help others while you serve your sentence,” said Bascom.
Dangerous Driving charges against Miller regarding an incident in Cochrane on Nov. 10 2012, were dropped, after it was deemed that he was in a suicidal state at the time according to Crown Prosecutor Richelle Freiheit.
Freiheit said she was satisfied with the sentence, though she had been seeking a sentence between three and four years.
“This sentence is in line with others in cases like this,” said Freiheit. “This sends a message that a sexual relationship between a teacher and student is not acceptable.”
Miller will be required to provide a DNA sample and will be registered under the Sexual Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA) for the next 20 years.
Miller’s Defense Attorney Steve Eichler declined comment following the sentencing.