Following the arrest of Mark Berndt, a former elementary school teacher accused of 23 individual counts of sexual harassment, Miramonte Elementary School has become the subject of more criticism. Just four days after Berndt was detained by law enforcement officials, police arrested Martin Springer on similar charges. Springer, a teacher himself at Miramonte Elementary School, has been accused of fondling two young girls under his supervision within the last three years. News of the subsequent arrest continues to enrage the families who have children attending the school in which these two individuals worked.
At 49 years of age, Springer was entrusted by the Southern Los Angeles district to teach second grade at Miramonte Elementary School. While little has been revealed about Springer, the community is shocked with his recent transgressions. Springer grew up in Alhambra, moved away as an adult, and then came back a couple years ago after his mother passed away. Neighbors said they never saw many people at his house, and they didn’t even know he was a teacher.
“Shocking, I just can’t believe it,” said Gabriel Urrutla, a neighbor of SPringers. “We used to play with the guy when we were little.”
According to John Deasy, the Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent, Springer was removed from contact with children immediately after the current sexual abuse case was leveled against him. Subsequently, Springer is accused of fondling two girls, between the ages of seven and eight, since 2009.
“The allegations involve two girls who were allegedly fondled in the classroom at Miramonte School by suspect Springer. They were approximately 7 years old at the time of the incidents, which were alleged to have occurred during the past three years,” said Capt. Mike Parker of the sheriff’s department.
Springer was arrested early Friday as he was leaving a school district building and is currently being detained on $2 million bail.
Springer’s arrest came just four days after that of Mark Berndt’s. Berndt, a former teacher at the school where Springer teaches, was arrested on 23 counts of sexual abuse that witnessed him tie up children to take lewd pictures of. Allegations suggest that Berndt would tie up his victims against their will, while simultaneously placing giant cockroaches on their faces and spoon feeding them his own semen. Subsequently, Berndt would tell the victims that they were playing a “tasting game,” in which he used a blue plastic spoon to feed children a white substance that DNA tests later revealed to be his semen. The students were told to tell Berndt whether the substance tasted salty or sweet, authorities said. Incriminating photos, along with DNA samples, have been discovered on school grounds and at Berndt’s home.
While the cases remain similar, there is currently no connection between each individual’s transgressions. “I’m not aware of a connection per se, but obviously, they both teach at the same school, so they know each other,” Parker said. Due to the nature of such acts, enraged parents have removed their children from the school and made their distain known.
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