LA Teacher Due In Court On Molestation Charges

Published February 1, 2012 8:27AM (EST)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former Los Angeles elementary school teacher accused of blindfolding, gagging and photographing children is scheduled to make his first court appearance.

Mark Berndt faces arraignment Wednesday on charges that he committed lewd acts on 23 boys and girls between 2008 and 2010.

The investigation began when a film processor found Berndt's photos more than a year ago and alerted authorities. Authorities say the photos showed some of the children at Miramonte Elementary School blindfolded, with their mouths taped shut and with live cockroaches on their faces.

Police also say some of the children were spoon-fed Berndt's bodily fluids.

Berndt was fired after the photos were discovered and police put him under surveillance. He was arrested Monday and is being held on $2.3 million bail.

Authorities say Berndt has hired a lawyer and has made no statements to police.

By Salon Staff

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