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MARK BERNDT: Former Miramonte Elementary School Teacher Pleads to Sexually Molesting 23 Children

LAUSD Miramonte Elementary teacher Mark Berndt has pleaded no contest to sexually molesting 23 children between 2005 and 2010.

Berndt, 62, entered his plea before Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli and was immediately sentenced to 25 years in state prison under terms of the negotiated plea.

“A school ought to be one of the safest places in America. This plea spares these young victims the anguish of
testifying at a trial and sends an unmistakable message to those who would dare take advantage of our children
that justice will prevail,” said Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.

Deputy District Attorneys Alison Meyers and Gloria Marin with the Sex Crimes Division prosecuted the case.
Berndt admitted to all 23 felony counts of lewd act upon a child under 14 years of age involving all 23 victims –
– 22 girls and one boy who were between the ages of 7 to 10 years old when the molestations occurred. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau launched an intensive investigation in late 2010 after a film processing company contacted police about photos depicting children in a classroom with their eyes blindfolded and their mouths covered with duct tape. Berndt had taught for more than 30 years at Miramonte Elementary in the Florence area and later retired from the district before charges were filed. Berndt has remained in custody since he was arrested on Jan. 30, 2012.