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Why a judge denied bond for former Gainesville High teacher accused of sex-related crimes
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Former Gainesville High School teacher Cameron Millholland sits in Hall County Magistrate Court Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, for a committal hearing from charges of child molestation after an investigation into an inappropriate relationship with a student, police said. - photo by Scott Rogers

A Hall County Magistrate Court judge denied bond Friday, Sept. 16, for Cameron Millholland, a 26-year-old former Gainesville High teacher accused of child molestation and other offenses involving his former students.

Millholland, appearing in court with attorney Mike Jacobs, was previously charged with two counts of child molestation for inappropriate conduct over Snapchat with a student.

Millholland, who resigned Aug. 19, taught social studies and coached boys golf. He was hired at Gainesville High in Aug. 2019.

Gainesville Police Investigator Erin Escalante took the stand Friday morning. 

The girl involved in the child molestation counts was a student of Millholland’s during her freshman year and is now a 15-year-old sophomore, Escalante said.

Escalante found the 15-year-old girl through school administration and conversations that administration had with several cheerleaders

A cheerleading coach for Gainesville High contacted school officials about a conversation overheard at practice about a girl meeting up with a teacher to give oral sex, the investigator testified.

“The principal started calling in cheerleaders,” Escalante said.

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Former Gainesville High School teacher Cameron Millholland enters Hall County Magistrate Court Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, for a committal hearing from charges of child molestation after an investigation into an inappropriate relationship with a student, police said. - photo by Scott Rogers

‘If you go down, I go down with you’

The 15-year-old girl told school officials that she and Millholland became friends on Instagram her freshman year, and he added her on Snapchat 

The sexual conversations started around Dec. 15, 2021, and Millholland sent photos to the girl that were either nude or him in boxers, Escalante said. 

“When he asked for photos, she would only send him pictures of her breasts,” the investigator testified.

The girl was able to draw Millholland’s bedroom, which matched what Escalante saw during her investigation. The 15-year-old girl’s phone is being processed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Escalante said.

“She told me that she was in love with him, that she believed that they were in a relationship and she expressed her love to him directly,” the investigator said.

The warrant alleged that Millholland had a Snapchat live video Aug. 16 with the 15-year-old girl where he was masturbating.

On Aug. 17, the 15-year-old girl said they were to meet in Millholland’s classroom at Gainesville High so she could perform oral sex on him, but the plan did not go through, Escalante testified.

Escalante detailed the Snapchat messages between the two in this time period including on Aug. 18, when the girl said a coach came looking for her.

Millholland told the girl to promise him that she wouldn’t mention their Snapchat conversations, according to Escalante’s recounting of the Snapchat conversation.

“The victim says, ‘If you go down, I go down with you and vice versa,’” Escalante said.

Assistant District Attorney Harold Buckler then turned the attention of the hearing to the girl involved in the subsequent warrants obtained by Escalante: sexual exploitation of a minor and criminal attempt to commit improper sexual contact by employee.

The now 17-year-old girl was in Millholland’s homeroom class in freshman year.

Millholland first added her on Instagram her sophomore year and then added her on Snapchat her junior year, Escalante testified.

In June, Millholland sent the 17-year-old girl a message.

The warrants alleged Millholland sent nude photos and video with him wearing boxer shorts “with an erect penis dancing and in a mirror that showed his bedroom.”

Millholland also asked the girl to hang out at his residence alone, Escalante testified.

Buckler asked Escalante if there were any similarities in how he talked with these girls or what he would ask for.

“He did send some of the same photos and videos to both victims,” Escalante said.

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Magistrate Court Judge Andy Maddox denies bond Friday, Sept. 16, for former Gainesville High teacher Cameron Millholland who is accused of child molestation. - photo by Scott Rogers

A third girl 

While the investigation is ongoing, Buckler asked Escalante to talk about a third girl. There have been no charges filed related to this third girl.

Escalante said the third girl is 17 and was in Millholland’s ninth grade class. He messaged her in July including a photo on a bed that showed the outline of his erect penis, Escalante said.

Millholland asked the third girl on a date twice to Bruster’s and kept insinuating sexual things, Escalante testified.

Escalante has sought the Snapchat records for Millholland, and the former teacher’s phone will  have its data extracted.

The investigator said there were 57 active conversations on Millholland’s Snapchat with girls, though it was unclear how old these girls were.

Toward the end of the hearing, Escalante said two juveniles came forward through an online tip “saying that they actually witnessed (the 15-year-old girl) giving oral sex to the defendant in the locker room” of Gainesville High School during the beginning of this school year. Millholland continually shook his head while this allegation was discussed.

Escalante said it was still under investigation and she was trying to get more information.

After a roughly hourlong hearing, Magistrate Court Judge Andy Maddox bound over all of the charges for Millholland to Superior Court.

During a bond hearing, Jacobs asked the judge to set a bond, pointing out his client had never been previously arrested. 

Buckler argued that the judge should not grant a bond, as the prosecution was concerned about Millholland “committing new felonies” and possibly intimidating witnesses.

Maddox left the bench for a few minutes and returned to the courtroom. In most cases like this, Maddox said he would normally grant bond because there is a presumption of innocence.

“The thing that I can’t get over is you have training and responsibility, and these are students,” Maddox said.

Maddox pointed to evidence from Escalante’s testimony of Millholland reaching out to a student during the investigation. The judge also said he holds teachers to a higher standard.

Maddox said he believes Millholland would eventually be entitled to a bond based on the charges if they stay as they are.

The Times reached out to Jacobs’ law office following the hearing for comment on the allegations and Friday’s hearing.