L.A. Teacher arrested for Lewd acts on students
Can I just say how absolutely disgusted I am with people? Especially these two creeps? The full story is below, courtesy of CNN.com. But people like this a) are disgusting b) are evil and c) give good teachers a bad name. I thought I was going to throw up while reading this story. I really did. And honestly, how exactly does a man get away with taping up kids and photographing them with spoons of semen by their mouths?? Didn’t any of these kids go home and say, “Mommy, the teacher taped me to my chair and took pictures of me today” at all?? And he did it to more than two dozen students? How is that possible? Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting.
Los Angeles (CNN) — Another teacher has been arrested at Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles on allegations of lewd acts on young pupils, authorities said Friday.
Capt. Mike Parker of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said that Friday’s arrest is “quite different” from the arrest earlier this week of another teacher, Mark Berndt.
Berndt, 61, was accused of taking bondage photos of more than two dozen students in his classroom, some showing suspected semen-filled spoons at the children’s mouths, authorities said.
Investigators from the special victims bureau arrested the second teacher, Martin Bernard Springer, 49, of Alhambra, California, on Friday, Parker told reporters. Springer’s arrest came after investigators received “new information” on Thursday morning that led them to the teacher.
Authorities say that the allegations involved two young girls “who were allegedly fondled in the classroom” by the suspect, Parker said.
The girls were about 7 at the time of the alleged offenses, which occurred “during the past three years,” Parker said.
Springer’s bail has been set at $2 million, according to Parker.
Los Angeles County prosecutors are reviewing whether to file charges against Springer, a spokeswoman said Friday. “We’ll see have to see how far the evidence goes in the latest arrest,” spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons told reporters.
Aside from the two teachers being assigned to the same Los Angeles school, “I’m not aware of any connection” between them, Parker said.
Parker said he didn’t know whether the two teachers allegedly committed offenses against the same pupils.
Berndt, a 30-year teaching veteran, is being held on $23 million bail: $1 million for each of the 23 counts he faces of lewd acts on a child.
The investigation began in October 2010, when a CVS drugstore photo technician in the South Bay area of Los Angeles County told the Redondo Police Department about finding disturbing images of blindfolded children in a processing order, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dan Scott.
The case was turned over to the sheriff’s office, and after an initial investigation, investigators notified school authorities, who removed Berndt from his classroom in January 2011.
About 400 photographs collected by investigators show children blindfolded, with tape over their mouths, Scott said. At least 23 children in the images have been identified, while another 10 are unidentified, he said.
Some photos show female students with “what appeared to be a blue plastic spoon, filled with an unknown clear/white liquid substance, up to their mouths as if they were going to ingest the substance,” authorities said.
Scott said a search of Berndt’s classroom included a blue spoon like the one in the pictures.
The spoon and small container recovered from the classroom were sent to a criminal laboratory for DNA testing. It took seven months for investigators to identify the sample as semen, Scott said, and authorities got a sample of Berndt’s DNA. He declined to reveal how.
“It took us another six to seven months to process Berndt’s DNA and match it with the classroom DNA sample that tested positive for semen,” he said.
Processing the DNA, identifying the children in the photos and conducting in-depth interviews with potential victims was time-consuming, Scott said in response to criticism over the year that passed before Berndt was arrested.
“We always had our eyes on him, and there was never a chance he would get away from us,” Scott said.
The young students “didn’t realize they were victimized,” Scott said. “They thought they were being blindfolded and gagged as a game.”
Berndt’s public defender has not spoken to reporters about the case, which is set for arraignment on February 21.