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Former teacher sentenced to just 30 days in county jail for child pornography charges

Former Sacramento teacher Scott MacMillan was sentenced Monday to 30 days in county jail for using his cellphone to take inappropriate photos of a student and an adult co-worker. He was a finalist for a prestigious award in 2016. (Image source: Video screenshot)

A California judge sentenced a former school teacher on Monday to 30 days in county jail for using his cellphone to take inappropriate photos of a student and an adult co-worker for sexual purposes, KOVR-TV reported.

Police arrested Scott MacMillan, who taught K-6 science and engineering, following an investigation into the allegations made against him in 2016.

In October, the 44-year-old MacMillan pleaded no contest to charges that included attempted possession of child porn, attempted use of a concealed camera to take photos a child for sexual purposes and attempted use of a concealed camera to take photos of an adult victim for sexual purposes.

In addition to jail time, MacMillan will also serve three years' probation and must register as a sex offender.

What happened?

Students at Heron School  in Sacramento captured video of the teacher using his cellphone to take pictures of a 12-year-old student under her desk, The Sacramento Bee reported.

A staff member at the kindergarten through eighth-grade school also reported that MacMillan tried to take a photo under her skirt.

School officials contacted Sacramento Police Department, which launched an investigation.

What did the police find?

Investigators found multiple images of girls' chest and genital areas on his cellphone that were taken without their knowledge.

What's the reaction to his sentence?

Some parents said they were disappointed in the sentence.

“I think it’s horrible. I think it’s ridiculous and I think you should do a lot more time for that,” one parent with two students in the district told KOVR.

A law professor at McGeorge School of Law said MacMillan's sentence might sound light but there's more to it than meets the eye.

“Spending 30 days in jail is not inconsequential. It’s not 30 years, which if I was a parent I might think was appropriate, but the judge made a judgment call,” John Myers told the outlet. “His career is over, he’s registered as a sex offender for the rest of his life, he’ll never teach again and he has to go to jail for 30 days.”

The Natomas Unified School District said in a statement that it placed MacMillan on leave during the initial investigation. He resigned when termination proceedings began.

"The sentencing of Scott MacMillan supports the actions we took when allegations were raised. Safety of our students and staff is our top priority, so we initially placed Mr. MacMillan on leave while we and law enforcement investigated," the statement said.

What else?

MacMillan, who taught school for 18 years, was a finalist for California's Presidential Award of Excellence in 2016. The award is the nation's highest honor for science teachers.

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