Southern California breaking news and trends

Martin Springer arrested: Second Miramonte Elementary School teacher arrested for lewd acts

Miramonte Elementary

José Martinez/OnCentral

A second Miramonte Elementary School teacher, Martin Bernard Springer, has been arrested for investigation of sexual misconduct.

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Los Angeles County arrested a second Miramonte Elementary teacher, 49-year-old Martin Bernard Springer, for investigation of sexual misconduct with two girls who were 7-years-old at the time.

L.A. County sheriff's officials confirmed that Springer, an Alhambra resident, was arrested at 10:00 a.m. on Friday. He is being held on $2 million bail. 

This arrest comes less than one week after another Miramonte Elementary School teacher, Mark Berndt, was charged with lewd acts involving 23 children. 

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy said Springer was removed from the Miramonte campus yesterday when he first learned of the allegations. Early next week he will be asking the Board of Education to immediately terminate Springer’s employment.  

Some alarmed parents have pulled their children out of the school, citing safety concerns, AP reports. Deasy said today in a statement that he was "appalled and sickened" at news of the arrest and that LAUSD is working closely with the Miramonte community "to deal with the terrible trauma."

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2nd teacher arrested at Miramonte Elementary

Teacher Classroom Bondage

Damian Dovarganes/AP

A second Miramonte Elementary School teacher has been arrested.

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A second teacher removed from Miramonte Elementary has been arrested, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The Friday arrest comes days after longtime teacher Mark Brandt was charged with 23 lewd acts against children. 

KTLA's David Begnaud has been reporting on Twitter that there will soon be new disturbing details in the Brandt case.

A press conference is scheduled for noon. We will have more information then. 

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Second Miramonte teacher removed by LAUSD after accusations

Miramonte Elementary

José Martinez/OnCentral

Miramonte Elementary School, where a second teacher has been removed after allegations have surfaced against him.

LAUSD has removed a second teacher from a classroom at Miramonte Elementary School, where another teacher this week was charged with photographing children for sexual thrills.

LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy says the teacher was removed from contact with children after someone made accusations against him on Wednesday. The teacher has not been arrested or charged, according to the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

“A new allegation came to our attention yesterday, and we referred the allegation to the sheriff,” Deasy told the L.A. Times. “We removed the teacher from the classroom and the matter is being investigated, like when any matter comes to our attention.

“There is no determination from the authorities, and the person could be completely innocent.”

Sgt. Dan Scott of the Special Victim's Bureau said police are working hard on the case.

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Mark Berndt investigated 18 years ago for 'attempted fondling'

Mark Berndt

L.A. Sheriff's Department

Accused teacher Mark Berndt.

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Mark Berndt, the longtime Los Angeles teacher accused of committing lewd acts on 23 children, was investigated but never charged in "an attempted fondling" of a young girl 18 years ago, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sgt. Dan Scott, who discovered the case while reviewing records Wednesday evening.

The suspected incident occurred in 1994, and was reported to by Miramonte Elementary officials, notes the L.A. Times. The girl, 10 or 11 years old at the time, told authorities that Berndt tried to touch her over her clothing near her genital area. Following a LASD investigation, the case was rejected by the district attorney's office. 

LAUSD Supt. John Deasy confirmed that he also learned of the alleged incident but said the sheriff’s office, not the district, had the records. Deasy has ordered an internal investigation of the 61-year-old suspect to see if district records of past incidents or suspicions exist.

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Mark Berndt bail increased to $23 million, more claims against teacher being investigated

Mark Berndt

L.A. Sheriff's Department

Accused teacher Mark Berndt.

Sheriff's investigators have five more alleged victims in the horrifying case of longtime Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt, who appeared in court, handcuffed behind a caged area, on Wednesday. His arraignment on 23 counts of lewd acts against children has been held over until Feb 23.

Prosecutors were able to increase Berndt's bail today from $2.3-million, to $23 million, based on the alleged crimes. Additional charges may be filed pending verification of the new allegations, notes the L.A. Times.

The 61-year-old allegedly told children they were going to play a "tasting game," blindfoldeding the victims, gagging some with tape, putting cockroaches on others, and spoon-feeding them a white substance that DNA tests revealed to be his semen, according to authorities.

The victims were supposed to say whether the substance was sweet or salty and if they liked the taste, say authorities, who were tipped off by a CVS photo lab tech who reported suspicious photos of bound children to police.

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