Case against ex-Miramonte teacher Martin Springer dismissed


Springer, who taught at Miramonte Elementary School for 26 years, was arrested on Feb. 3, 2012. He had pleaded not guilty to committing three lewd acts on one of his young female students in 2009.

Prosecutors announced Wednesday that they are unable to proceed with the case because the alleged victim does not want to testify, and her testimony was essential to the case, prosecutors said.

"The victim, who is now 12, was very traumatized with the experience of testifying in court during the preliminary hearing," said Jane Robison, spokesperson for the L.A. County District Attorney's Office, in a statement.

A court spokesperson earlier reported that the case was dropped due to the statutory time limit, but according to Robison, the case can be re-filed if the victim changes her mind within the statute of limitations.

"I'm happy for my client. It's been two years," said John Tyre, Springer's attorney. "He no longer has it hanging over his head. Hopefully now, he can go on with his life."

The Los Angeles Unified School District fired Springer a month after his arrest. On Wednesday, a district spokesman released a statement that read, in part, "We hold our employees to the highest standard of professional behavior. We will continue to pursue the dismissal proceedings initiated by the school board."

Springer's arrest came days after the arrest of Mark Berndt, another former Miramonte teacher, who was arrested after a year-long investigation into his alleged abuse of 23 students, ages 6 to 10. According to authorities, Berndt blindfolded children, fed them his semen as part of a tasting game and put cockroaches on some of their faces.

Berndt is now serving a 25-year sentence after pleading no contest to felony lewd act charges last November.

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