Police Eliminate Third Miramonte Arrest; Find More Abuse Photos - NBC Southern California

Complete coverage of the sexual abuse scandal at a South Los Angeles elementary school

Police Eliminate Third Miramonte Arrest; Find More Abuse Photos

Two teachers at the school have been arrested for lewd acts involving students



    Los Angeles County Sheriff's officials have discovered 200 more photos allegedly taken by Mark Berndt, a former Miramonte Elementary School teacher charged with molesting students. (Published Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012)

    The Miramonte Elementary School scandal advanced Wednesday when police eliminated the possibility of a third teacher arrest and discovered 200 more photos of children being abused.

    A third arrest was anticipated in the growing Miramonte Elementary School scandal, but the possibility has now been eliminated by police.

    Earlier reports noted that a third teacher from the school was being investigated and expected to be arrested, although no timeline was released. Authorities said they were satisfied with the teacher's statements and exonerated her from further inquiry.

    Also on Wednesday, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials revealed they have recovered 200 more photos of children they said were taken by Mark Berndt.

    Second Miramonte Teacher in Court

    [LA] Second Miramonte Teacher in Court
    One of the teachers involved in the scandal made his first appearance in court today. NBC 4's Jesse Gary was outside the Alhambra home of Martin Springer and has this story.
    (Published Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012)

    The new photos were found in a CVS Pharmacy’s photo printing database. They are much like the initial batch of photos, which implicated Berndt, showing children blindfolded, with cockroaches on their faces and cookies with his bodily fluid in front of their mouths.

    "About 175 of them have been identified as consistent with kids who were identified in the previous photos," said Lt. Carlos Marquez of the LA County Sheriff’s Department Special Victims Unit.

    Ongoing Coverage: Miramonte Investigation

    Miramonte Parents, Students Unhappy With Restaffing

    [LA] Miramonte Parents, Students Unhappy With Restaffing
    At first, parents at Miramonte Elementary School were upset that the school board was not doing enough to protect their children from accused child molesters. But now they said a complete overhaul of the school's staff is too drastic.
    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012)

    Two teachers -- 49-year-old Martin Springer and 61-year-old Mark Berndt -- have been arrested, although no connection between the two cases has been established.

    Springer was charged with three counts of lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14, according to a criminal complaint. The charges are related to a single student. Another student who accused Springer of fondling her has reportedly recanted her story.

    Berndt was charged with felony molestation, involving 23 children. He is being held on $23 million bail.

    When asked about more arrests, Lt. Carlos Marquez with LA County Sheriff's Deparment said, "Not immediately."

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