Complete Coverage of the ongoing investigation of a South LA elementary school

Complaint About Accused Ex-Teacher Made Years Ago

Mark Berndt did not face charges after a 1994 investigation into accusations that he tried to fondle a girl

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Nadine Martinez Rodriguez, who had Mark Berndt in 4th Grade, says she witnessed inappropriate conduct. She says she was scared to tell the Principal, but her classmates tried to tell

    A Los Angeles teacher accused of taking photographs of children -- some blindfolded in a classroom with tape over their mouths -- was investigated  in 1994 for allegedly trying to fondle a 10-year-old girl, according to authorities.

    The alleged act occurred in September 1993, but was not reported to officials at Miramonte Elementary School until the following January 1994, said Lt. Carlos Marquez.

    Teacher Had Been Accused Before

    [LA] Teacher Had Been Accused Before
    Mark Berndt, the LAUSD teacher accused of lewd conduct, had been investigated in the early 1990s. A former student says her classmates tried to tell the principal in 1990.

    The girl claimed the former teacher, 61-year-old Mark Berndt, reached toward her genitals during class, but she pushed away his hands, according to the sheriff's department.

    The school notified the sheriff's department, which opened an investigation. Charges were not filed in that case because of insufficient evidence.

    Accused Ex-Teacher Investigated in 1994

    [LA] Accused Ex-Teacher Investigated in 1994
    Just days after former LAUSD teacher Mark Berndt was arrested and accused of abusing students, new details surfaced about a case in 1994 in which he was accused of trying to fondle a girl in the classroom.

    "The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigated allegations against Mark Berndt involving a September 1993 incident," the district attorney's office said in a statement. "On Feb. 23, 1994, the evidence was presented to the District Attorney’s Office. After careful evaluation, it was determined that the evidence was insufficient to prove a crime occurred."

    The school district has launched its own investigation into the current allegations.

    Alleged Victim Speaks Out

    [LA] Alleged Victim Speaks Out
    An 8-year-old girl described to NBC LA the alleged incidents that she claims took place with former teacher Mark Berndt, who is charged with committing lewd acts on children.

    Berndt, who worked at Miramonte for more than 30 years, is jailed on $23 million bond. He is accused of felony molestation involving 23 children, ages 6 to 10, between 2005 and 2010.

    He was arrested earlier this week after were notified by a film processing technician of 40 photographs that depicted blindfolded children in a classroom with tape over their mouths. Some images showed the former teacher with his arm around the children or hand over their mouths, according to investigators.

    Former Teacher Accused Decades Ago: Report

    [LA] Former South LA Teacher Faced Previous Allegations: Report
    A former student reportedly made a complaint more than 20 years ago against Mark Berndt, who is now charged with abusing students. Many parents want to know why nothing was done about it at the time.

    California State Penal Code requires film processors to report suspected child abuse.

    About 100 similar photos were found at Berndt's home, according to the sheriff's department. About 250 additional photos were recovered by Sheriff's Special Victims Bureau detectives from the film processing business.

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