Deasy: Teacher accused of abuse removed from class immediately
"I find it disgusting, I find it reprehensible," Deasy told The Times about teacher Mark Berndt, 61, who has been charged with lewd acts on 23 children. "I hope this man spends the rest of his life in prison."
It is "despicable," Deasy said, "when you are entrusted with the lives of our youth, and you violate that."
Deasy said L.A. Unified was notified of the allegations on Jan. 7, 2011, and Berndt was removed from the classroom the same day. He was terminated by the district at its next meeting.
Deasy said that, at the time of Berndt's dismissal, he was aware of the "general allegations," but had not seen the photos nor was he aware of the full scope of the Sheriff's Department's investigation.
Deasy said he did not know where at the school or when the incidents are alleged to have occurred.
The 23 students who were allegedly abused by the teacher have been offered psychological and social support, Deasy said. Some of the families have taken up the district's offers, while others have not, Deasy said.
He said it was disturbing that none of the children who were photographed reported it.
"It's a question I've asked myself since I heard about this," Deasy said.
-- Rick Rojas
Photo: Mark Berndt. Credit: L.A. County Sheriff's Department