Southern California breaking news and trends

Disturbing photos of classroom 'game' led authorities to teacher accused in child sex abuse case (Updated)

Mark Berndt

L.A. Sheriff's Department

Revolting and disturbing details continue to emerge in the case of a 30-year Los Angeles teacher arrested under suspicion of committing lewd acts on 23 children, including tying them up, putting cockroaches on their faces, and possibly feeding them his semen from a spoon.

61-year-old Mark Berndt was brought to the attention of authorities in October 2010 when a photo processor in Redondo Beach reported images of young children gagged and blindfolded, covered with cockroaches, and consuming liquid from a spoon.

The former Miramonte Elementary School teacher, who was fired in March, was taken from his Torrance home by authorities on Monday following a year-long investigation, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff's department.

The suspect was a teacher of "average effectiveness," according to a Times analysis of standardized test scores,

Read More...

LA teacher Mark Berndt charged with sex crimes against 23 children

A longtime L.A. teacher has been charged with a slew of horrific crimes against the children he taught.

City News Service and the L.A. Times report that a former teacher at Miramonte Elementary School in L.A. County has been arrested for allegedly committing lewd acts on a child, according to the sheriff's department. Mark Berndt, 61, was arrested at his home in Torrance on Monday. He is being held on $2.3 million bail. The allegations involve photographs of lewd acts committed upon about two dozen children between the ages of 7 and 10. The crimes allegedly occurred between 2008 and 2010.

More disturbing details from the Times included that Berndt is accused of "allegedly tying them up, placing giant cockroaches on their faces and possibly feeding them his semen from a spoon," sometimes apparently inside a school.

Read More...