PORTERVILLE, Calif. --A California high school teacher's former student and babysitter has come forward 16 years after she says the two had a sexual relationship.
Bradley Collins was an auto shop teacher at Porterville High School and had been with the school district for more than 20 years. Collins has been on administrative leave since July. On Tuesday, the district attorney's office filed fresh charges against him.
Nicole Miller, a 33-year-old woman who now lives in Sacramento, said her inappropriate relationship with Collins began in the fall of 2000 when she was a senior at Porterville High School.
"He made me feel special because he never treated me like a kid," she said.
Miller said she was in his auto shop class, spent time with him on the school's racing team, and also became his family's babysitter. She said they first kissed in November, and once she turned 18 in January, they had sex. Miller said they continued to do so once a week, sometimes on school grounds.
"He swore up and down to me I was his first and I'd be his total last. He could never go through the stress again," she said.
Miller eventually moved away for college, and the relationship fizzled out. In July of this year, Porterville police arrested Collins on charges of having sex with an underage former student. Collins was released from custody when the Tulare County District Attorney's Office decided not to file charges. For the first time in 14 years, Miller saw his face in the form of a mugshot.
"But I could see the desperation in his face. He knew, he knew what he did," she said.
On Tuesday, the DA's office filed fresh charges against Collins, involving five former or current Porterville High School female students. He's charged with five misdemeanor counts of annoying or molesting a child, plus one count of sexual battery. Assistant District Attorney Kerri Lopez said all five incidents happened within the last year.
"All of us send our kids to school to learn, and we feel a sense of safety when we send our kids to school. And when something like this happens, it just puts parents on edge," she said.
While she's been told the DA's office can't file charges on her behalf, Miller said she could be called in as a witness in the Collins case. She also said she'll file a civil suit against the man she said destroys lives.
"You couldn't let me go and just live my life? Let me figure out things on my own," Miller said. "You made me think that all you were trying to do is help me see the world, and all you did was just put a blanket over it."
Collins will be arraigned on October 3 at 8:30 a.m. His wife had no comment for the media.