LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — New lawsuits stemming from child sex abuse claims at Miramonte Elementary School were filed earlier this week against the Los Angeles Unified School District, it was announced Wednesday.
Attorneys representing 26 victims of child sex abuse allegedly committed by two teachers at the South Los Angeles school announced the suits Wednesday morning.
The civil suits were filed on behalf of four of the children reportedly abused by Martin Springer and Mark Berndt.
Springer has been ordered to stand trial on three felony counts of committing lewd acts with a child. He is currently free on bail and has pleaded not guilty.
Berndt has been criminally charged with molesting 23 students over a five-year period at the school. Allegations against him include feeding some of the students his own semen in a bizarre game.
The new lawsuits were filed in the wake of a report issued last week by the California State Auditor, which concluded that the LAUSD failed to properly report at least 144 cases of teacher misconduct to state authorities, attorneys said in a statement.
Lawyers representing the four plaintiffs are also demanding that the LAUSD release all reports of abuse by teachers at Miramonte and other district campuses.
They allege the LAUSD “has failed to resolve victims’ claims and to effectively prevent future abuse at District schools.”
LAUSD released a statement Wednesday afternoon regarding the filing of the lawsuits:
“Although the school district has yet to receive this latest complaint, we are continuing to pursue an early resolution process with everyone impacted. Our sincerest hope is that through this process we can avoid the potential pain of lengthy litigation while promoting healing and improving trust with the community. We welcome the opportunity to work with Senator Escutia and Mr. Manly through this early resolution process,” general counsel for the school district, David Holmquist, said.