A second teacher at Miramonte Elementary School in Florence has been arrested for lewd acts. Authorities said two girls came forward claiming they were fondled inside of a classroom.
A second teacher removed from the same school at which Mark Berndt -- the man charged with lewd acts against 23 students -- worked for more than 30 years has been arrested and booked on suspicion of fonding two girls in a classroom.
CA Mandatory Reporting Act: The Law and Technology That Led to an Arrest
The teacher, identified as Martin Bernard Springer, will be terminated for inappropriate contact and touching of students, according to Superintendent John Deasy.
"As an educator and a father, I’m appalled and sickened by the allegations against this teacher," said Deasy. "The District is working closely with the entire Miramonte community to deal with the terrible trauma that has arisen as the result of the arrest of Mark Berndt earlier this week and today’s arrest of Martin Springer."
The 49-year-old Alhambra man was booked on suspicion of lewd acts on a child. Bond was set at $2 million.
The case against Springer will be presented to the District Attorney for consideration of felony charges of lewd acts upon a child.
The allegations involve two 7-year-old girls were were allegedly fondled in a classroom during the past three years, according to authorities.
Child-abuse investigators were informed by the district late Thursday night, according to the sheriff's department.
Also Friday, an attorney announced that he has been retained by the parents of a victim in the Berndt case. Brian Claypool plans to file a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Unified School District on the girl's behalf.
Mark Berndt, who worked at Miramonte Elementary 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.
On Thursday, it was revealed that a complaint was made against Berndt in 1994. The alleged act occurred in September 1993, but was not reported to officials at Miramonte Elementary School until the following January, said Lt. Carlos Marquez.
The school notified the sheriff's department, which opened an investigation. Charges were not filed in that case because of insufficient evidence.
The Berndt case came to light after a film processor provided 40 images of children to authorities. Film processors are required by law to report possible cases of child abuse.
The images 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.
Berndt, of Torrance, was removed from the school after the investigation began about a year ago. He was arrested Monday.