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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Howell School Teacher Sentenced To Seven Years For Child Pornography

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — Duane William Millar, age 60, of East Lansing, Michigan, was sentenced today to seven years in federal prison, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge. Millar, a former teacher with the Howell Public School District, pleaded guilty to receipt of child pornography last year.

          In announcing the sentence, Chief U.S. District Judge Robert J. Jonker commented on Millar’s large collection of 40,000 images of child pornography, which dated back to 2004 and included depictions of sadomasochistic conduct. Judge Jonker expressed his concern that Millar exploited his position of trust with his students. Following his term of incarceration, Millar will serve seven years on supervised release and was ordered to contribute $5,000 to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act Fund. The Fund provides financial support for victims of child pornography, sex trafficking, and child sexual abuse. He must also register as a sexual offender.

          Acting U.S. Attorney Birge noted that "a case that involves a teacher with an interest in child pornography is exceptionally troubling, because teachers have access to children and are in a special position of the trust with students, parents, and the public." At sentencing, the U.S. Attorney’s Office emphasized that while the investigation revealed no evidence of inappropriate sexual contact with his students, investigators were nonetheless concerned by the fact the otherwise innocuous images of his students had been digitally manipulated to include sexual imagery. "Every time a sexually explicit image of a minor is produced, transmitted, or viewed, a child is re-victimized," said Steve Francis, acting special agent in charge of HSI Detroit. "The fact that this defendant was in a position of trust is particularly disturbing and heightens our resolve to hold predators accountable."

          This case is the result of an investigation by the Michigan State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (MSP ICAC), working in conjunction with HSI. The Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office initiated Millar’s prosecution and then referred the case for federal prosecution. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexis M. Sanford.

          This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office; county prosecutor’s offices; and federal, state, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement. For more information about Project Safe Childhood in West Michigan, including resources for children and parents, visit: http://www.justice.gov/usao/miw/programs/psc.html.

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Updated February 7, 2017