LA school officials chided for molest case silence

February 2, 2012 • National News

The Miramonte Elementary school’s principal, Martin Sandoval spesaks to the media outside his school in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012. Veteran Miramontes Elementary school teacher Mark Berndt, 61, was arrested on charges of lewd conduct with 23 children after a film processor gave police photos showing blindfolded children with their mouths taped and cockroaches on their faces. Berndt, 61, not seen, was arrested Jan. 30, and remained jailed Tuesday on $2.3 million bail. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Angry parents confronted school officials Wednesday, demanding to know why they weren’t told for a year that a teacher was suspected of photographing children in class for sexual thrills.

The clash came at a forum staged at Miramonte Elementary School to discuss the investigation of Mark Berndt, a third-grade teacher who is charged with committing lewd acts on 23 boys and girls, ages 6 to 10, between 2005 and 2010 at the campus where he taught for more than 30 years.

Berndt was removed from classwork in January 2011 and fired within the month, but only parents of children identified as victims were told by authorities at that time of the investigation.

Berndt’s bail was raised to $23 million Wednesday as he Login to read more

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