The president of a South Carolina Bible college was charged last week with essentially treating foreign students as slaves by forcing them to perform work for little or no pay.
According to The Sun News, federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against Cathedral Bible College President Reginald Wayne Miller, accusing him of forced labor.
An affidavit included with the complaint said that students “described a pervasive climate of fear in which their legal status as non-immigrant students was in constant jeopardy, at the sole discretion of Dr. Miller, who threatened expulsion and therefore termination of their legal presence in the United States for noncompliance with his demands.”
Students told investigators that classes at the school “were not real," and that the real purpose of the school was to force them to work over the maximum of 20 hours per week that federal law allows for student visas. The students alleged that Miller often forced them to live in substandard conditions without hot water, heat or air-conditioning.
The complaints said that students worked over 50 hours a week, and often received no pay, even though some had been promised $100 a week. Several students said that they were paid $50 a week for 40 hours of work or more.
The Friendly Atheist blog quipped that slavery was rampant throughout the Bible, allowing Miller to "still be considered a true man of the Bible."
Miller was arrested in 2006 on charges of lewdness and prostitution after he exposed himself to an undercover officer in a bathhouse at Myrtle Beach State Park. Records indicated that Miller participated in a pre-trial intervention program, allowing his record to be expunged.
During a Friday appearance at Florence Federal Court House, a federal judge set bail at $250,000. He was also ordered to stay away from Cathedral Bible College, and its students. The former pastor could spend 20 years in jail if convicted.