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Child Bondage Elementary Teacher to be Arraigned this Tuesday View Count:  

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Mark Berndt, the teacher accused of and arrested for taking bondage photos of over 23 children, mostly girls, from ages 7 to 9, in his elementary classroom, has had his arraignment in an L A. County court set for Tuesday.

Berndt hasn’t entered a plea yet, but the charges brought against him include 23 counts of lewd acts involving a child. Specifically, he is charged with taking bondage style photographs of some of his students wearing blindfolds, gags, with large cockroaches propped on their faces, and with some of the girls spooning what turned out to be his semen into their mouth. Investigators have discovered around 600 such photographs involving at least 23 students.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Dan Scott has reported that “Investigators learned that some of the photos depicted suspect Mark Berndt with his arm around the children, or with his hand over their mouths,” while others showed “children with large live Madagascar-type cockroaches on their faces and mouths.” Nevertheless, he says that children “didn’t know they were victimized.”

  
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Days after his arrest, Martin Springer, 49, a fellow school teacher at Miramonte Elementary, was arrested with similar charges, for three felony counts of lewd conduct with a girl under the age of 14. He is charged of groping the girls.

With such charges brought against their staff members, and with many previous students publicly stepping up to speak to newspapers and talk show hosts about other of Berndt’s alleged misdoings, the elementary school has been in turmoil. The new superintendent and board have temporarily replaced the entire staff till further investigations can qualm the chaos.

The new allegations, which include an appearance of a student claiming on the Dr. Phil show that he had been fed an inseminated cookie, and was shook hard when she refused to cooperate, have made detectives nervous. They are concerned that false charges and money-interested allegations may give Berndt’s defense a crowbar to dismiss other valid.

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“The lawyers are making it that much more difficult,” said William McSweeney, chief of detectives for the Sherriff’s Department. “It is going to raise issues of credibility.”

Robin Sax, a former Los Angeles sex crimes investigator corroborated this sentiment: “You just sit there and cringe your teeth as a D.A.” The prosecutors “are watching a case unfold on television and they’re stuck with whatever is said in public.”



Though Martin Springer has pled not-guilty to the charges brought against him, Berndt has not made his decision known, and has refused to comment to the public.

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