Second Teacher Charged in Los Angeles School Scandal


KABC-TV/ABC News(LOS ANGELES) — Prosecutors in Los Angeles have filed lewd acts charges against a second teacher for allegedly fondling at least one student at the beleaguered Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles.

Martin Springer was charged Tuesday with three counts of committing lewd acts on one girl, according to The Los Angeles Times, which reported that a law enforcement officer said a second girl recanted her accusation against the teacher.

Bail for Springer was reportedly set at $300,000, while the judge said the 49-year-old will be forced to wear an ankle monitoring device if released.

Another teacher, Mark Berndt, was arrested earlier after a year-long investigation into lewd acts he allegedly committed on 23 children aged 6-10 between 2005 and 2010.  He is accused of feeding students cookies with his semen on them and taking pictures of students blindfolded with cockroaches in their faces.

Brian Claypool, an attorney for some of Berndt’s alleged victims, told ABC News that he has identified a female teacher who would allegedly bring little girls to Berndt to be victimized.

“I reported to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Special Victims Unit a new teacher who I believe patently aided and abetted the abuse Berndt was carrying out,” Claypool told ABC News.

Claypool said his accusation has come from conversations with at least three students or former students who said the other female teacher had a role in the alleged crimes.

“She was a teacher who would escort little girls into Berndt’s classroom when he was all alone.  Berndt would come over in the middle of day, whisper in her ear, and they would giggle, and then teacher would pick out two girls, escort them through a common door, so that they were stuck with a pedophile in this classroom.  And that’s where he was blindfolding them and spoon-feeding them semen,” he said.

Following the arrests of Springer and Berndt, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy announced on Monday he was having Miramonte’s 128-person staff temporarily transferred out of the school for the remainder of the winter track.

The district has contacted former teachers and staff members who had been laid off during budget cuts to come back and temporarily teach at the school.

The school is expected to reopen to students on Thursday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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