Mark Berndt, a 61-year-old former teacher at Miramonte Elementary school in Los Angeles was jailed Monday after he allegedly tied up 23 of his students and then fed them his semen.
According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, an investigation was launched after a film processor discovered 40 photographs that depicted a large number of students (ages 7 to 10) blindfolded with their mouths taped shut.
Some photos allegedly showed Berndt with his arm around several students, some of which showed Berndt’s hands over their mouths. Other photos showed students with roaches crawling on their faces and mouths.
More disturbing photos showed young girls who were blindfolded with a spoon held up to their mouths. The photos showed a semen-like substance on the spoon.
The same spoon and a container was found in the trash that tested positive for semen. A DNA sample of the substance found on the spoon and container was a positive match for Berndt.
All of the photos were reportedly taken at the school, during school hours. Most of the children have been identified as Berndt’s students. Ten of the students seen in the photographs have still not been identified.
A search warrant was served on Berndt’s residence. More than 100 photographs were found that depicted similar abuse to children. Detectives believe the alleged crimes took place between 2008 and 2010.
More than 80 current and former students of the school have been interviewed and there has been no determination as to why on one came forward to report the abuse.
Berndt was booked into jail and charged with 23 counts of felony child molestation. His bond was set at $2.3 million.