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Miramonte teacher Mark Berndt to be arraigned on Tuesday

Mark Berndt, 61, was arrested Monday, Jan. 30, 2012, on suspicion of molesting 23 students.

February 20, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A former Miramonte Elementary School teacher, charged with nearly two dozen counts of lewd acts against children, is set to be arraigned on Tuesday.

Mark Berndt was arrested on Jan. 30 and is facing 23 felony charges. He's being held on $23 million bail.

The 61-year-old third grade teacher was fired a year ago from the school while being investigated after a film processor turned over 40 photographs to authorities. The pictures depicted children in a classroom with their eyes blindfolded and mouths covered with tape. Similar photos were found at Berndt's residence.

Berndt was seen in photos with his arm around the children or with his hand over their mouths, police said. Some children even had live large cockroaches on their faces and mouths.

A second Miramonte teacher, 49-year-old Martin Springer, is also charged with lewd acts against children. He posted bail earlier this month.