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Author Topic: LA Elem. Teacher Mark Berndt Fired & Chgd with Lewd Acts Against 23 Children  (Read 10915 times)
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MuffyBee
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« on: January 31, 2012, 01:30:49 PM »

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/01/teacher-arrested-lewd-acts-told-children-it-was-game.html
Teacher charged with lewd acts allegedly told kids it was 'game'
January 31, 2012



A Miramonte Elementary School teacher who taught for three decades in South L.A. told students they would be playing "a game" before tying them up and feeding them from a spoon possibly containing semen, sources said.

Mark Berndt, 61, who is charged with lewd acts on 23 children and was taken into custody Monday, told the children the spoon contained something sugary and sweet, but authorities said they believed the substance was his semen, said the sources, who declined to comment on the record because the investigation is ongoing.

Berndt was fired in March and was being held Tuesday on $2.3-million bail.

A spoon recovered from a trash bin in Berndt's classroom is a key piece of evidence, said Capt. Mike Parker of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

"Early in the investigation, special victims bureau detectives recovered a blue plastic spoon and an empty container from the trash within the suspect’s classroom," Parker said. "The recovered items tested positive for semen."

Through further investigation, the suspect’s DNA was obtained and tested, and officials said it matched that of the DNA found on the spoon and container.

Berndt's arrest capped a nearly yearlong investigation by the L.A. County sheriff's special victims unit.

The investigation began when a photo processor turned over to authorities pictures of some alleged acts of bondage and the spoon-feeding, officials said.

The 23 alleged victims are both boys and girls and ranged in age from 7 to 10. The crimes occurred between 2008 and 2010, Parker said.
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2012, 01:33:36 PM »

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-01-31/los-angeles-teacher-molestation-photos/52900840/1
Ex-L.A. teacher charged with molesting 23 children
January 31, 2012

LOS ANGELES (AP) – A Los Angeles school teacher bound and gagged nearly two dozen children, put cockroaches on some of their faces and posed in photos with them, possibly inside a classroom, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday
A department statement said Mark Berndt, 61, was arrested Monday and remained jailed Tuesday on $2.3 million bail. The district attorney's office said Berndt has been charged with committing lewd acts with 23 boys and girls ages 7 to 10.

The investigation began when a film processor gave authorities about 40 photographs depicting blindfolded children in a classroom with their mouths taped shut.

Some of the photos showed girls with what appears to be a spoon up to their mouths as if they were going to ingest a clear-white liquid. A spoon and container found in trash in Berndt's classroom tested positive for semen, the sheriff's department statement said.

Some of the children's mouths and faces had large, live Madagascar-type cockroaches on them, according to the statement.

Some photos showed Berndt with his arm around the children or with his hand over their mouths.
 ::snipping2::
Berndt is charged with committing lewd acts between 2008 and 2010. He worked for more than 30 years at Miramonte Elementary School in south Los Angeles.

He was immediately removed and fired when police informed the school district, Deasy said.

No student came forward to report the abuse, he said.

The sheriff's department said a search warrant served on Berndt's home led to the discovery of more than 100 similar photographs depicting children.
 ::snipping2::



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MuffyBee
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2012, 01:36:51 PM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/former-la-elementary-school-teacher-charged-photographing-molesting-23-kids/2012/01/31/gIQAnEd5eQ_story.html
Los Angeles elementary school teacher fired, charged with photographing and molesting 23 kids
January 31, 2012

 ::snipping2::
The investigation started when the film processor gave authorities some 40 photographs depicting blindfolded children in a classroom with their mouths taped shut.

Berndt worked for more than 30 years at Miramonte Elementary School in an unincorporated area of South Los Angeles before being fired as a result of the investigation.

Some of the photos showed Berndt with his arm around children or with his hand over their mouth.

Other pictures depicted girls with what appears to be a spoon up to their mouths as if they were going to ingest a clear-white liquid.

Sheriff’s Lt. Carlos Marquez of the Special Victims Bureau said it was determined the children were given semen on a spoon or on a cookie. A blue plastic spoon and container found in trash in Berndt’s classroom tested positive for semen, the sheriff’s statement said.

None of the photos showed the students actually eating the semen, but Marquez said the children reported they didn’t like the taste.

Authorities are recommending the children be tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

Some of the children’s mouths and faces had large, live Madagascar-type cockroaches on them, according to the statement.

The incidents occurred during school hours but not all the children were students of Berndt, Marquez said.
 ::snipping2::
Berndt has never been married, has no children and there’s no indication of a previous arrest record, authorities said.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2012, 01:51:27 PM »

http://abcnews.go.com/US/teacher-arrested-bondage-photos-students/story?id=15480041
Teacher Charged with Taking Bondage Pics of Students
By Colleen Curry
January 31, 2012

 ::snipping2::
Authorities launched a widespread sex crime investigation, interviewing current and former students and school employees and searching Berndt's home. They recovered a total of 390 photographs and an adult "sexual bondage" film which mirrored the photos of the children, according to a statement by the sheriff's department today.

More than 26 children from the 390 photographs have been identified; an additional 10 children have not yet been identified, police said.
 ::snipping2::
John Deasy, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, said he was made aware of the investigation on Jan. 7, 2011, and fired Berndt the same day.
 ::snipping2::
Deasy said that the school district had been offering crisis counseling and support to the known victims and their families for more than a year, and would continue to do so for any new victims or students that request assistance.

Berndt was arrested Monday and charged with 23 felony counts of lewd acts upon a child. He is being held at LA County jail in lieu of $2.3 million bail.



 
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2012, 04:32:40 PM »

http://www.ksbw.com/r/30340910/detail.html
Teacher Accused Of Taking Elementary Student 'Bondage' Photos
By Alan Duke CNN
January 31, 2012

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- A Los Angeles elementary school teacher allegedly took bondage photos of more than two dozen students in his classroom, including some with suspected semen-filled spoons at their mouths, investigators said Tuesday.

The young students "didn't realize they were victimized," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sgt. Dan Scott told CNN Tuesday.

"They thought they were being blindfolded and gagged as a game," he said. "And they were rewarded with cookies or spoons full of sugar (but) they did not realize the spoon contained semen."

The photographs also showed "a large 3-inch cockroach that would crawl on their face," Scott said.
 ::snipping2::
Mark Berndt, 61, was arrested on child molestation charges at his Torrance, California, home Monday and is being held pending $2.3 million bond in a Los Angeles County jail, according to Sheriff's Lt. Carlos Marquez.

He is scheduled to make a first appearance before a judge Wednesday morning on 23 counts of lewd acts on a child, according to the county's district attorney.

 ::snipping2::
While the investigation began more than a year ago, the arrest came soon after lab testing matched Berndt's DNA with semen found on a spoon recovered from his classroom, Scott said. Investigators persuaded the suspect to voluntarily give them a DNA sample just two months ago, he said.

The 30-year teaching veteran was removed from his job at Miramonte Elementary School in south Los Angeles on January 7, 2011, the day the sheriff's department told the school district about the investigation, Los Angeles School Superintendent John Deasy said.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2012, 04:39:22 PM »

How did the neighbor John McManus witness Mark Berndt riding a tandem bike with a young girl about a month ago, when a previous article posted in this thread says "The lieutenant said Berndt was placed under surveillance and it’s believed he had no contact with children during the investigation." The lieutenant being "Sheriff’s Lt. Carlos Marquez of the Special Victims Bureau".  Link to article:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/former-la-elementary-school-teacher-charged-photographing-molesting-23-kids/2012/01/31/gIQAnEd5eQ_story.html

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/01/accused-teacher-seen-riding-bike-with-young-girl-neighbor-says.html
Neighbor says teacher rode tandem bike with young girl
January 31, 2012

 ::snipping2::
John McManus, who said he has known Mark Berndt for 20 years, said he saw the fired grade school teacher a month ago riding a tandem bicycle along the waterfront in Hermosa Beach with a young girl who appeared to be in her early teens.

Berndt seemed unnerved when McManus spotted him, the neighbor said, and later told him: “Don’t tell my sister I was with this young girl."
The neighbor said Berndt told him the girl was one of his students and that they had ridden the bicycle nearly as far as Marina del Rey and back.

 ::snipping2::
Berndt and his sister are owners of the small Torrance apartment complex on Reynolds Drive, property records show, where they and McManus live.
 ::snipping2::
Berndt, who was fired as a teacher in March, was being held Tuesday on $2.3-million bail following his arrest.
 ::snipping2::
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 04:56:31 PM by MuffyBee » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2012, 05:01:47 PM »

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/01/parents-say-they-trusted-teacher-accused-of-abuse.html
Parents invited teacher accused of abuse to parties, quinceañeras
January 31, 2012

 ::snipping2::
Berndt, 61, was arrested Monday after a yearlong investigation and charged with committing lewd acts on 23 children. Authorities said Berndt blindfolded the children, then spoon-fed them a white substance believed to be his semen. He is accused of tying them up and placing giant Madagascar cockroaches on their faces.

One woman, whose daughter is now 10, was a student in Berndt's classroom when she was 7. The mother said she trusted the teacher so much that she invited him to her daughter's birthday party and recommended that her friend's 14-year-old daughter volunteer in his classroom.

Her story is a common one, according to a district insider familiar with the investigation. Parents had so much trust in Berndt, a fixture at the school, that they invited him to birthday parties and stayed in touch long after their children left his class. He was the sort of teacher who’d be invited to quinceañeras — coming-of-age parties for girls, a tradition in the Latino community.   

"Parents loved him," said the district source who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak. "But the investigators felt the relationship was unnaturally close to the children."
 ::snipping2::
The school district was notified of the allegations on Jan. 7, 2011, and Berndt was removed from the classroom the same day. He was terminated by the district at its next board meeting.
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2012, 05:12:06 PM »

Re:  The green highlighted area:  Why did this parent of a child victim have to come to the school Tuesday (today?) to ask for counseling for his son, when in another article I read: "Deasy said "crisis counseling and support have been provided for more than a year to the known victims and their families, and we continue to offer those necessary services to new victims as they are identified or any student or parents who requests assistance." Link to the article: http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/31/10279897-ex-la-teacher-charged-with-molesting-23-children

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/01/miramonte-teacher-parent-snacks.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lanowblog+%28L.A.+Now%29
Son is pictured eating food tainted by teacher, father says

January 31, 2012

A sheriff's detective called a parent at Miramonte Elementary last spring and told him his now 11-year-old son appeared in photos taken by teacher Mark Berndt, who is charged with abusing 23 children at the school.

The photos showed his son eating cookies with a white substance on them, he said. The photos focused on his mouth, he said.

There were only three photos of his son but he was shown many more, most of which were of young girls, the father said. The father's name is not being used to protect his child's identity.

The father learned Monday from a sheriff's detective that the white substance was believed to be semen. He said the detective told him that Berndt sold some of the pictures online.
 ::snipping2::
The parent said that almost immediately after seeing the photos, he went to talk with Principal Martin Sandoval but was told five days in a row that Sandoval was unavailable.

It wasn't until the parent contacted the school district that Sandoval came to his home to talk about the investigation, he said.

The parent was not only outraged at what had happened but at the school's reluctance to talk with him and other parents about the investigation.

"At the very least, they should have reached out to ask us for forgiveness," he said.
"Or just contacted us to give us information."

Martinez said he went to the school in unincorporated South L.A. on Tuesday to ask for counseling for his son, who becomes defensive when asked questions about the photos.

"He would just tell me that he was a good teacher," Martinez said. "He didn't see it as anything bad."
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 05:16:32 PM by MuffyBee » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2012, 05:23:35 PM »

If the white substance in spoons and on cookies was in fact semen, and " Authorities are recommending the children be tested for sexually transmitted diseases". Link to article with quote: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/former-la-elementary-school-teacher-charged-photographing-molesting-23-kids/2012/01/31/gIQAnEd5eQ_story.html wouldn't time have been of the essence to have the children tested?!!  

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/01/teacher-arrested-lewd-parents-angry.html
Parents angry they weren’t told of teacher allegations sooner
January 31, 2012

 ::snipping2::
Kirklin was among those who argued that parents should have been notified earlier; school officials have said they took immediate steps to remove the teacher from the classroom and begin working with both law enforcement investigators and victims' families.
 ::snipping2::

Kimberly Kirklin, 32, has six children, including three daughters who are still students at Miramonte. She said she quizzed each of them immediately after learning of the arrest of former teacher Mark Berndt on the early morning television news Tuesday, and felt secure that they had never been subjected to any lewd activity.

Berndt, 61, was arrested Monday after a yearlong investigation and charged with committing lewd acts on 23 children. Authorities say at least 10 more children seen in photos seized by detectives have not been identified. Berndt is accused of blindfolding the children, tying them up and in some cases placing cockroaches on their faces and spoon-feeding them a white substances believed to be his semen.
 ::snipping2::
Heidy Morales, who had come to pick up her preschool-age son and also has a daughter in kindergarten at the school, said she hadn't heard anything about the accusations until Tuesday.

"This is my first time hearing of that," she said. "It's scary. I don't know what to say."

The school should have told parents about the teacher when they learned about the photos, she said.

"I would have taken my daughter away from this school."

Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy said the school district was notified of the allegations on Jan. 7, 2011, and Berndt was removed from the classroom the same day. He was terminated by the district at the next school board  meeting.
 ::snipping2::
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...and Injustice for most


« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2012, 05:26:50 PM »

These freaks need to  ... PERIOD! There is no treatment, there is no 'cure'. It is not a Mental Illness. They are what they are and nothing can change that. NOTHING can change Sexual Preference.    them in every State, period.
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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2012, 06:14:25 PM »

These freaks need to  ... PERIOD! There is no treatment, there is no 'cure'. It is not a Mental Illness. They are what they are and nothing can change that. NOTHING can change Sexual Preference.    them in every State, period.

ITA Nut.  Its plain to see that there is no justice for the children when LE found 390 photos in his possession but he only has 23 charges.  He needs to be charged with each and every photo and if there are duplicates they should get him for intent to manufacture and distribute child pornography.  Why does our justice system continue to fail?  Don't lawyers, judges etc have children too?

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« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2012, 06:18:20 PM »

These freaks need to  ... PERIOD! There is no treatment, there is no 'cure'. It is not a Mental Illness. They are what they are and nothing can change that. NOTHING can change Sexual Preference.    them in every State, period.

ITA Nut.  Its plain to see that there is no justice for the children when LE found 390 photos in his possession but he only has 23 charges.  He needs to be charged with each and every photo and if there are duplicates they should get him for intent to manufacture and distribute child pornography.  Why does our justice system continue to fail?  Don't lawyers, judges etc have children too?

I probably should have included this link about the 390 photos.  Sorry!
http://abcnews.go.com/US/teacher-arrested-bondage-photos-students/story?id=15480041

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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2012, 10:16:43 PM »

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/01/dna-key-in-case-against-la-teacher-accused-of-classroom-abuse.html
DNA key in case against L.A. teacher accused of classroom abuse
January 31, 2012

DNA evidence collected in the classroom of a teacher accused of gagging and blindfolding children and feeding them semen is considered central in the felony cases against him, a detective said.

Mark Berndt was charged Tuesday with 23 felony counts of lewd acts upon a child. The case began when photos of scenes in the classroom emerged. Berndt, 61, was fired as a teacher in March and was arrested Monday after a yearlong investigation.

Sgt. Dan Scott of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said the photos were perplexing because the children were smiling and appeared not to be in distress. Detectives went to his

They tested a substance on the spoon and found a DNA match with the teacher's semen, Scott said.

"We didn't have a felony until the semen was discovered," said Scott.


The photos showed students bound and blindfolded, some with large Madagascar cockroaches crawling on them, inside the school setting, Scott said. Scott said girls were allegedly photographed with a blue spoon holding a white substance near their mouths. Investigators said they believe that substance was Berndt's semen and that he had the girls consume it.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2012, 10:19:12 PM »

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/01/teachers-alleged-classroom-abuse-began-in-2005-authorities-say.html
Teacher's alleged classroom abuse began in 2005, authorities say
January 31, 2012

A South Los Angeles teacher accused of gagging and blindfolding children and feeding them semen will face multiple felony charges in a court hearing Wednesday.

Authorities say the alleged crimes took place between 2005 and 2010, though detectives said they were still trying to determine how far back the alleged abuse occurred.

Mark Berndt is being held in lieu of $2.3-million bail after being arrested Monday. He was charged Tuesday with 23 felony counts of lewd acts upon a child.

He was in jail Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2012, 10:25:53 PM »

This article goes on to say the surveillance on Mark Berndt wasn't 24 -7.  That must be how he was witnessed by a neighbor riding a tandem bicycle with a young girl about a month ago.  If that's true, he DID continue to have contact with children.   
Link to article about the neighbor witnessing him with girl: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/former-la-elementary-school-teacher-charged-photographing-molesting-23-kids/2012/01/31/gIQAnEd5eQ_story.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/former-la-elementary-school-teacher-charged-photographing-molesting-23-kids/2012/01/31/gIQAnEd5eQ_story.html?tid=pm_pop
Los Angeles elementary school teacher fired, charged with photographing and molesting 23 kids
January 31, 2012

 ::snipping2::
About 400 photos were found at Berndt’s home and at the photo lab during subsequent searches. It’s not clear how many different children were pictured. At least 10 youngsters in the photos have not yet been identified.

Some photos showed Berndt with his arm around children or his hand over their mouths. Some photos showed children with live bugs the size of hissing cockroaches on their mouths or faces.

Others depicted girls with what appears to be a spoon up to their mouths as if they were going to ingest a clear-white liquid. Children were fed Berndt’s semen from a spoon or on cookies, Marquez said.

Kids reported being fed something distasteful. A blue plastic spoon and container found in the trash in his classroom tested positive for his semen, authorities said.

Police recommended the children in the photos be tested for sexually transmitted diseases. There also may be more victims given the length of time that Berndt taught at the school, Marquez said.


Authorities could have arrested Berndt on misdemeanor charges when the investigation began but chose to build a stronger felony case, Marquez said. He could get a life sentence if he is convicted.

At first, neither the parents nor the children believed they had been molested, so there wasn’t much reaction, according to sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore. It was only after the matter of the semen was raised that they became alarmed.

Berndt, who has no previous arrest record, was placed under surveillance and is not believed to have had contact with children during the investigation. The childless bachelor lives a few blocks from two parks and an elementary school.

 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2012, 10:17:17 AM »

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teacher-timeline-20120201,0,7850582.story
Timeline: An investigation unfolds
Here are some key dates in the investigation into suspected lewd conduct by a Los Angeles school teacher, based on allegations made by detectives, prosecutors and school officials.
February 1, 2012

Also...

Comments: (at time of posting 2)

Quote
Kamo Totes at 5:29 AM February 01, 2012

Oh, yeah. One more thing! if he was under surveilance from the time this roach was fired last year. Why the hell no one said anything when he was riding a tandem bike a month ago with a young girl at the beach? (one of his students) great job Baca and Staff!,
Kamo Totes at 3:54 AM February 01, 2012

12-months to investigate? and finally make a decision to arrest?? I feel like we're being fed the same BS as these innocent children. Sad police work and no one to be held accountable
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« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2012, 10:25:31 AM »

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teacher-timeline-20120201,0,7850582.story
Timeline: An investigation unfolds
Here are some key dates in the investigation into suspected lewd conduct by a Los Angeles school teacher, based on allegations made by detectives, prosecutors and school officials.
February 1, 2012

Also...

Comments: (at time of posting 2)

Quote
Kamo Totes at 5:29 AM February 01, 2012

Oh, yeah. One more thing! if he was under surveilance from the time this roach was fired last year. Why the hell no one said anything when he was riding a tandem bike a month ago with a young girl at the beach? (one of his students) great job Baca and Staff!,
Kamo Totes at 3:54 AM February 01, 2012

12-months to investigate? and finally make a decision to arrest?? I feel like we're being fed the same BS as these innocent children. Sad police work and no one to be held accountable

This is so sad and disgusting . . . these poor children.
 
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« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2012, 12:10:28 PM »

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/01/31/state/n081826S71.DTL&tsp=1
Ex-LA teacher due in court on molestation charges
By ROBERT JABLON, Associated Press
February 1, 2012

 ::snipping2::
Mark Berndt faced arraignment Wednesday on charges that he committed lewd acts on 23 boys and girls, ages 6 to 10, between 2008 and 2010. He has hired a lawyer and has made no statements to authorities, said Los Angeles County sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.
 ::snipping2::
The incidents occurred during school hours but not all the children were his students, Marquez said.

"The reason some of the kids are not his students, per se, is that during the lunch breaks or recess, he'd go out to the playground and entice them back to the classroom," Marquez said.

"They didn't know they were being violated in that manner," he said. "They just thought it was a game."


Berndt was a teaching assistant in the Los Angeles Unified School District in 1976 and 1977 and he began teaching at Miramonte in 1979, according to a district work history obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2012, 12:15:06 PM »

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/02/five-more-alleged-victims-accuse-la-teacher-of-abuse.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lanowblog+%28L.A.+Now%29
Five more alleged victims accuse L.A. teacher of abuse
February 1, 2012

Five more alleged victims have contacted sheriff's investigators since they announced the arrest of a longtime Miramonte Elementary School teacher accused of abusing children in his classroom, authorities said.

The children's allegations must all be verified to determine whether any additional charges can be filed against Mark Berndt, 61, who is expected in court Wednesday for arraignment on 23 counts of lewd acts against children, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2012, 04:06:35 PM »

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/02/01/justice/california-teacher-bondage/?hpt=hp_t3
$23 million bond set for teacher accused of 'bondage' photos of kids
By Alan Duke, CNN
February 1, 2012

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Bond was set at $23 million Wednesday for a Los Angeles elementary school teacher who allegedly took bondage photos of more than two dozen students in his classroom -- $1 million for each of the 23 counts he faces of lewd acts on a child.

The 400 photographs collected by investigators include some showing suspected semen-filled spoons at the children's mouths, a sheriff's investigator said.

Mark Berndt, 61, appeared briefly before a Los Angeles judge for his initial court appearance Wednesday morning, represented by a court-appointed public defender.

His next court appearance was set for February 21.


Authorities arrested Berndt at his home Monday, and charged him with the 23 felony counts.
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