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Crime & Justice

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.

The Times reports Berndt was fired in March.