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Los Angeles Elementary School Teacher Pleads No Contest to Blindfolding Students and Feeding them Cookies Laced with his Semen
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Miramonte Elementary School in south Los Angeles is no stranger to the spotlight. Another Miramonte teacher, Martin Springer, was charged with lewd acts on a second-grade child that authorities in the case said was fondled in class in 2009. Springer is now awaiting trial. Another man who worked at the school for 30 years but who was not removed until 2011 was teacher, Mark Berndt to continued teaching after there had been complaints about him in the 1990s.

Mark Berndt, 62, is the Los Angeles elementary school teacher charged with and who also agreed to plead no contest to  blindfolding 30 students and feeding them cookies laced with his semen, according to an attorney for some of the victims.  A drugstore photo technician noticed lots of unusual photos of blindfolded children and reported them to authorities. This is when the allegations against him came to light.

  
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During the investigation authorities said they discovered a plastic spoon in Berndt’s classroom trash bin. Tests found traces of semen on it.

Without any display of emotions the disgraced former Los Angeles teacher, Mark Berndt stared straight ahead during the impact statements although defense attorney Manny Medrano said his client was remorseful and apologetic. He has agreed to plead no contest on all charges. The plea agreement calls for Berndt to be sentenced to 25 years in prison. At this age, the charge means that he is going to go to jail for the rest of his days on earth.

Before Mark Berndt was sentenced, a mob of crying mothers chastised him, saying he had ruined their lives and the lives of their daughters. These women were never named in court. According to the UK Daily Mail, they said they could not understand how the school district did not know about the incidents. Some of the victims’ mothers said that their daughters could no longer eat cookies unless they knew their mothers had baked the items for them. They also spoke of girls who had now become unable to socialize and locked themselves in their bedrooms with agoraphobia. They agreed to a plea mainly, because they did not want to re traumatize the children at a trial.

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The district attorney’s office and Berndt’s lawyer did not comment. Dozens of lawsuits and claims were filed on behalf of victims. Sean Rossall, a district spokesman, said 63 cases have been settled for a total of $29.5 million, and 71 are pending. While no amount of money can ease the trauma, certainly the children’s therapy will at least be taken care of in hopes that they can move beyond this horrific event.

Image Credit: UK Daily Mail





 

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