Los Angeles Sex Scandal Teacher Played Dress Up With Children, See The Shocking Photos

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Feb. 10 2012, Published 2:30 p.m. ET

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By Debbie Emery - Reporter

The man behind the sex scandal that has torn a school apart and gotten the entire staff removed from their jobs, once dressed up as Mickey Mouse and posed creepily with children under his care, and has the disturbing photos.

Mark Berndt, 61, can be seen wearing plastic black mouse ears, blue shorts and black tights in the incriminating photo, while standing with his arm around the shoulders of a little girl dressed in a pretty pink princess costume.

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The pair are snapped standing in his classroom at Miramonte Elementary School in south east Los Angeles, which is allegedly the scene of many of the lewd sex acts named in the 23 charges against him.

As previously reported, prior photo evidence provided by a film processor -- who turned at least 40 pictures in to authorities, spurring the investigation -- show Berndt had taped the children's mouths shut; let live cockroaches crawl on their faces; and fed the children a clear liquid substance, which subsequent tests showed to be semen.

Special Victims Bureau Sheriff's Lt. Carlos Marquez said the children reported they didn't like the taste of the substance, which Berndt served either on a spoon or a cookie.

This evidence makes another new photo even more horrific as it shows a different young girl with a cookie sticking out of her mouth.

In a third picture, the longtime teacher who had taught for 30 years can be seen with his arm around a boy surrounded by other students in the school yard. The sexual predator is wearing a bright yellow t-shirt and a huge grin on his face as he gets up close and personal to his prey.

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On Thursday, reported that Berndt was actually paid $40,000 to resign in the wake of the accusations that deemed his classroom behavior as “immoral” and “unprofessional” as well as a claim of “evident unfitness for service.”

In a financial settlement reached in June of 2011, the Los Angeles Unified School District paid Mark Berndt $23,980.10 in back pay and $16,019.90 in legal fees, according to documents obtained in a joint investigation by 89.3 KPCC and NBC4.

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Under the agreement, Berndt, 61, is entitled to his full pension and retirement health benefits.

Berndt is not the only person under suspicion at the school. Fellow teacher Martin Springer was arrested on Friday after two girls accused him of fondling them in class over the course of three years, but one of his accusers has since recanted her story.

In a third case, former female teacher’s aide Areceli Luisjuan allegedly wrote love letters to an 11-year-old boy, according to his mother, who claims she reported it but was told not to make up stories.

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Miramonte opened its doors to students again on Thursday after a 48-hour closure, but the children were welcomed by a whole new staff and a psychiatric social worker in every classroom to help students and staff cope with any issues.


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