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3rd Miramonte Teacher Escorted Girls to Molester

Female teacher allegedly led girls to classroom for abuse
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2012 3:55 AM CST
3rd Miramonte Teacher Escorted Schoolgirls to Molester: Lawyer
Attorney Luis Carrillo announces a claim against the school district on behalf of Dalia Gutierrez, the mother a girl who was an alleged victim of teacher Mark Berndt at Miramonte Elementary school.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Newser) – A third teacher has been implicated in the burgeoning child sex scandal at Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles. A lawyer said two victims were regularly escorted by a female teacher to the classroom of Mark Berndt, 61, who has been charged with 23 counts of lewd conduct, reports the New York Daily News. “I believe she aided and abetted him in carrying out abusive acts. I believe she worked in concert with Mr. Berndt,” said Brian Claypool, who is representing five possible victims in the case. “They had adjoining classrooms, and he’d come in every other day in the middle of the day, and he’d go up to her and whisper in her ear. She’d start giggling and then pick out two pretty girls and walk them over to the door," added Claypool, who did not name the teacher.

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Miramonte, one of the nation's biggest elementary schools, remains closed today following major protests after the arrest of two teachers charged with sex abuse and the announcement that the entire staff will be replaced. Investigators are also now looking into a "love letter" written by a school aide to an 11-year-old boy describing her "chills" when she was close to him, and telling him to throw the letter away so it wouldn't be found by the boy's brother or mother, reports the Los Angeles Times. (Read more Miramonte Elementary School stories.)

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