On Monday, January 30, 2012, ex-teacher Mark Berndt was arrested after being charged with spoon-feeding his semen to children at Miramonte Elementary School. The authorities were first began the investigation in January of 2010, after coming into possession of Berndt’s “bondage” photos of children bound, gagged, or being fed a clear-white fluid.
Despite the ongoing investigation, the principal of Miramonte and the Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent chose to keep silent for thirteen months while investigators built up a criminal case against Berndt. The decision to withhold information regarding the child sex abuse case has caused an outrage amongst parents. The district’s decision to keep silent is especially horrifying in light of the fact that the Police had recommended all the children in the photos to be tested for sexually transmitted disease. While 23 of the children photographed by Berndt have been identified, the police have found nearly 400 photos at Berndt’s residence showing dozens of children whose identity has not yet been determined.
Parents and caretakers trust teachers and schools to provide a safe and friendly environment for their children, but Berndt’s molestation case violates that trust to an unforgivable degree. Many parents have been asking how Berndt was able to repeatedly molest children for years. Investigators suspect the incidents of child sexual abuse occurred during non-instructional hours where most of the children would be in the play-yard. In a recent interview, the school district’s superintendent John Deasy stressed that new supervision measures have been placed to protect students from future incidents.
California Child Molestation Attorney
The children aged between 7 and 10 explained they thought they had been playing a game with Berndt. For over 30 years, this sick ex-third grade teacher had taught at Miramonte Elementary, coming into contact with hundreds of students. Given the circumstances, authorities speculate additional charges against Berndt are likely. Such blatant abuse of authority by teachers, preying on innocent children is completely unacceptable. The school district’s failure to provide safeguards against child sexual assault and their decision to withhold the facts regarding Berndt’s removal have unnecessarily endangered the well being of dozens of children.
Parents of the abused children are encouraged to consult a professional child sexual assault lawyer. In cases of extensive child abuse, the perpetrator is not the only party at fault. The school molestation victims lawyers at Estey & Bomberger, LLP may be able to help you hold the school and school district accountable for negligence. Seek justice for your child’s abuse. Please schedule an appointment today for a free screening of your potential Miramonte Elementary child abuse case.