More Information Emerges About Alleged Sexual Misconduct At South LA School
UPDATE: Sunday 9 p.m. Classes will be canceled Tuesday and Wednesday. There is a meeting for parents at 6 p.m. Monday at South Region High School, number 2 (on Central Ave.)
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Los Angeles Times is reporting that a student at a South Los Angeles elementary school may have been victimized by both teachers currently under arrest on suspicion of sexual misconduct.
According to the newspaper, the girl tipped off investigators about LAUSD-veteran teacher Mark Berndt.
Back in 2008, the child’s father reportedly had complained about the alleged photos to the principal of Miramonte Elementary School.
The child was subsequently transferred to Martin Bernard Springer’s class, the Times reported.
Then this week, the girl’s family came forward again, claiming that Springer touched the her leg and thigh inappropriately, CBS2’s Joy Benedict reported.
The alleged incidents are the latest in a series of allegations that have rocked a South Los Angeles community following the arrests Berndt and fellow teacher, 49-year-old Springer.
On Monday, 61-year-old Berndt was arrested and booked on suspicion of 23 counts of lewd acts against children following a yearlong investigation.
He is accused of taking disturbing pictures of students, blindfolded with cockroaches on their faces. Some of the photos allegedly depict the students being spoon-fed cookies and other things containing his bodily fluid, according to authorities.
Berndt is being held on $23 million-bond.
Springer, who was arrested Friday, is accused of fondling two girls. He has not officially been charged but is expected to appear in court for the first time on Tuesday.
Despite the similarities, prosecutors say the accusations against the teachers are not the same.
Meantime, CBS2 has learned that a teacher’s aide at the school was convicted of fondling three young girls back in 2003.
“I could not believe it. So you’ve had three perpetrators at the same school overlapping in time. Something seriously wrong there,” said Attorney Dave Ring, who has sued the school district.
LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy says the new cases are despicable but are not a reflection of the school or the community.