Veteran LA Teacher Charged With Molesting 23 Kids

Mark Berndt played disgusting 'game' with youngsters: cops
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2012 2:22 AM CST
Veteran LA Teacher Charged With Molesting 23 Kids
Los Angeles teacher Mark Berndt, 61, has been arrested for felony molestation of 23 kids.   (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)

A veteran Los Angeles third-grade teacher, telling his students they were playing a "tasting game," blindfolded them and spoon-fed them his semen, police say. Mark Berndt, 61, was arrested and charged with 23 counts of committing lewd acts on children after a photo lab worker alerted police to disturbing pictures of children that Berndt had sent in for processing, the Los Angeles Times reports. A spoon found in his classroom matched those in the pictures and had traces of semen on it.

The alleged victims were boys and girls aged 7 to 10. Police say more charges are likely, and they are trying to determine how long Berndt, who had taught at the school since 1979, has been abusing children for. "This occurred in his regular classroom with his students," a police sergeant says. "It wasn't done in secrecy. The only secret was what the 'game' was really about." (More child sex abuse stories.)

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