LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A former Los Angeles Unified elementary school teacher accused of lewd conduct and taking shocking photos of students agreed to waive his right to a speedy trial on Thursday.
KNX 1070’s John Brooks reports the case of Mark Berndt has been delayed until next month.
Berndt, a former teacher at scandal-plagued Miramonte Elementary, was arrested Jan. 30 after he allegedly took photos of blindfolded and gagged students with a roach on their faces or semen-tainted spoons or cookies held to their mouths.
He faces 23 counts of committing a lewd act on a child between 2005 and 2011. The charges involve 23 children who were 7 to 10 years old.
Berdnt gave a polite response to Judge Shelly Torrealba at the Criminal Courts Building downtown when she asked if he understood the significance of the motion to waive.
“Yes I do, your honor,” Berndt said.
Prosecutors turned over more that 400 additional items of evidence to the Berndt’s attorney Victor Acevedo, who said the hearing where the government will outline its case may take up to one week to complete.
“Five days, probably closer to ten,” Acevedo said.
Torrealba postponed the preliminary hearing to sometime after June 14.