They were told it was just a game. That’s what 23 children ranging in ages from 6-10 from 2008 – 2010 thought as they entered Mr. Mark Berndt’s 3rd grade classroom. Mr. Berndt, who began his career in 1979, now finds himself behind bars for his ‘games’.
Berndt lured his victims off the playground into his classroom. They were then allegedly tied up, blindfolded and gagged. Berndt then photographed the children as giant cockroaches crawled on their faces. Some of the girls were photographed tasting a white liquid, which tests proved to be Mr. Berndt’s semen.
The news has sparked outrage among parents at Miramonte Elementary School. Many want to know why they were unaware of the investigation, which began last March, after a local film processor turned over 40 lewd photographs to the Los Angeles police. Police then put Berndt under surveillance, after he was fired from Miramonte, as they built their case. Close to 400 pictures were confiscated from his Torrance, California home.
Berndt, 61-years-old is described as a ‘childless bachelor’ that lives near by two parks and an elementary school.
At least 10 students victimized in this case still have not been identified. Many of the victims are believed to be Latino, 97.6% of the student body is Hispanic and many are English-learners.
Berndt is currently being held on $2.3 million dollar bail and faces arraignment on Wednesday.