Criminal Case Languishes, While Civil Suits Move Forward in Miramonte Scandal

One year after the nation was shocked by horrifying allegations of sexual molestation out of Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles, the criminal case against Mark Berndt continues to languish, while the many civil actions against the Los Angeles Unified School District press forward. In the aftermath of the molestation allegations, the LAUSD is facing legal claims levied by 189 students and parents. Many of the claimants had initially agreed to mediation, but have since dropped out of those negotiations, citing the LAUSD’s failure to negotiate fairly, or to offer adequate settlements. Complaints have been filed on behalf of dozens of victims and parents.

Meanwhile, the criminal case against Mark Berndt remains stalled. Mr. Berndt, who is charged with 23 counts of lewd acts with a child, has pled not guilty. Recently, Mr. Berndt fired his public defender in exchange for private counsel, who will first argue that Mr. Berndt’s bail amount is extreme.

Mr. Berndt is alleged to have blindfolded dozens of his students and to have spoon-fed them his semen.