A 61-year-old elementary school teacher in Los Angeles has been arrested for committing lewd acts on 23 boys and girls, ages 6 to 10, between 2008 and 2010 at Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles.
Police arrested Mark Berndt this week after a year-long investigation began when a technician in a CVS Pharmacy film development lab alerted authorities to disturbing pictures he was developing for the teacher. The 35mm film showed students blindfolded with their mouths covered in clear tape with some of them being fed a white substance later discovered to be his semen on a spoon. Other students were shown to have large Madagascar-style cockroaches crawling on their faces while bound.
Berndt had taught at the school for 30 years, but was fired in January 2011 when school authorities were alerted to the investigation.
Apparently Mr. Berndt would lock his classroom door and tell the children they were playing a game which involved a taste test where he would put his seman on cookies or a spoon and feed it to them. It was discovered to be his own bodily fluids after a white bottle was seen in one of the photos and then found in the trash of his classroom. Once discovered the police ran tests on the contents and found it to be Berndt’s seman inside.
When the police executed a search warrant of his home, they found 100 other similar photos to the ones that had led to the investigation and an adult bondage DVD that depicted similar acts to the ones he had carried out with the students.
He appeared in court today and had his bail set out $23 million.
While most of the teacher sex scandals I write up are reprehensible enough with a teacher having sex with one student, this man, in my book, should the evidence hold up, qualifies as an out and out monster. Seeing as I won’t be sitting on his jury, I’m just going to go ahead and say that should he be found to be guilty, there is truly no punishment that will be severe enough. He has committed a crime against these children that is difficult to even comprehend, and I can’t say strongly enough how badly I feel for each of them and their families.
[thanks to the multiple people who sent this to me]