Meghan Miller, 35, is accused of sexually abusing a student for more than two years, pursuing a relationship that included sexual encounters in the coach's office and the high-school gym locker room.
A former star University of Kansas goalkeeper who later became a teacher’s aide and soccer coach at Ballard High School has been charged with molesting a 15-year-old student she pursued in a relationship for nearly two years, according to King County prosecutors.
Meghan Miller, 35, of Seattle, was charged Thursday with third-degree child molestation and two counts of first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor. After she declined to surrender to police, a $100,000 warrant was issued for her arrest, court records show. Miller was arrested and booked into the King County Jail on Friday afternoon.
“The defendant cultivated a relationship with the child, earning not only her trust but the trust of the victim’s family,” senior deputy prosecutor Emily Petersen wrote in charging papers. “Once the relationship between the defendant and victim was established, the defendant then began to sexually abuse the victim. The defendant told the victim not to tell anyone about the abuse, thereby creating a situation where it could continue for a significant period of time.”
Petersen noted in the charges that Seattle police offered to allow Miller to turn herself in, but Miller, through her attorney, declined.
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Miller’s alleged victim, who is now 17, met Miller in February 2016, when the girl was a 14-year-old freshman at Ballard High School, the charges say. Miller began a sexual relationship with the girl that summer and it continued through this past October, according to the charges.
The charges say the girl was struggling with social and emotional challenges and Miller used the girl’s issues to develop a friendship with her. Over the next two years, Miller became a central figure in the girl’s life, letting her vent her frustrations about her parents, walking her to class, visiting with her before and after class and exchanging social-media direct messages, say the charges. The two exchanged messages, which were often sexual in nature, almost daily.
Miller would normally meet the girl at night in city parks, but also had sexual encounters with the girl in Miller’s office and the high-school locker room, the charges say.
The girl later told police she became more confused about the relationship with Miller during her junior and senior year, the charges say. When the girl told Miller she was interested in someone else her own age, Miller cried and told the girl she had never dated or had a sexual relationship with anyone else, according to the charges.
The alleged sex abuse came to light when the girl told a friend about her relationship with Miller, and the friend reported the student-teacher relationship to another staff member at the high school, who told administrators, the charges say.
In a letter sent to parents, Principal Keven Wynkoop said school officials immediately notified police and placed Miller on leave when they learned of the allegations.
“In an effort to support students we will have additional counseling staff at school after the return from Winter Break. These supports along with the regular routine of going to school is helpful for students to move through difficult situations,” Wynkoop wrote. “I have been in contact with our local experts, Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress and King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, to let them know that our families may need their assistance.”
Harborview’s sexual-assault center can be reached at 206-744-1600 or http://depts.washington.edu/hcsats/resources.html; the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center can be reached at 888-998-6423 or www.kcsarc.org. Wynkoop also encouraged anyone with information about the case against Miller to contact the Seattle Police Department’s Sexual Assault Unit at 206-684-5575.
According to a 2013 profile by University of Kansas Athletics, Miller was a star goalkeeper on the women’s soccer team from 2001 to 2004, was an all-American and held career records for matches played by a keeper, goals against average, shutouts and wins. She was the assistant coach and varsity goalkeeper coach for Ballard High School’s girls soccer team, according to the school’s website.
News researcher Miyoko Wolfe contributed to this story.