Former Pacoima teacher pleads no contest to molesting 13 students

August 24, 2012 Comments Off on Former Pacoima teacher pleads no contest to molesting 13 students

Former Pacoima teacher pleads no contest to molesting 13 students

Paul Chapel III, a former third-grade teacher at Pacoima’s Telfair Elementary, faces 25 years to life in prison, the L.A. County district attorney’s office says.

By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times

August 21, 2012

A former Telfair Elementary teacher pleaded no contest Monday to molesting 13 students at the Pacoima school and faces 25 years to life in prison, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said.

As a preliminary hearing was to begin for Paul Chapel III, he pleaded no contest to 13 counts of lewd acts on a child, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Elena Abramson.

“They were all students at Telfair, aged 8 and 9…. Some of them were students in his class and others he met outside the classroom in breaks or after school,” Abramson said. The molestations of seven females and six males occurred from September 2006 to April 2011.

Prosecutors last fall charged Chapel, 51, with molesting four students. Los Angeles Unified school officials waited until February to tell parents about the third-grade teacher’s arrest, however, doing so after two teachers at Miramonte Elementary School accused of molestation were arrested and reporters questioned the district about other teachers removed for similar accusations.

The school district fired Chapel in March. In May prosecutors charged him with molesting nine additional students. Some of the victims were in San Fernando Superior Court on Monday, prepared to testify.

Lawsuits filed by two of the victims against the school district say Chapel kissed the children and fondled their genitals.

Court documents alleged that the district ignored repeated complaints about Chapel and allowed him to return to work despite several red flags in his history. He had previously left a private school after allegedly making inappropriate remarks during a sex education class. He was tried but not convicted in a 1997 alleged molestation….
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0821-teacher-abuse-20120821,0,7075525.story

Teacher Charged with Taking Bondage Pics of Students

February 1, 2012 Comments Off on Teacher Charged with Taking Bondage Pics of Students

Teacher Charged with Taking Bondage Pics of Students
By COLLEEN CURRY Jan. 31, 2012

has graphic descriptions

A former third-grade teacher in Los Angeles has been arrested for allegedly molesting nearly two dozen children after photos of students posed in bondage positions were passed to the sheriff’s department.

Mark Berndt, 61, a teacher with more than 30 years experience at Miramonte Elementary School in south Los Angeles, is charged with molesting 23 children, according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Police began the investigation after a photo processing facility passed along suspicious images depicting students blindfolded with their mouths covered in tape….

In some photos, Berndt had his arm around the children or his hand over their mouths.

Police found the spoon, along with an empty container in the trash in Berndt’s classroom and, through DNA testing, determined that both contained Berndt’s semen….

The students were between the ages of 7 and 10 years old when the alleged crimes occurred, police said.

The photos were taken under the guise of a classroom game during school hours, according to the Los Angeles Times. Investigators believe the girls consumed the semen on the spoon as part of the game, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Authorities launched a widespread sex crime investigation, interviewing current and former students and school employees and searching Berndt’s home. They recovered a total of 390 photographs and an adult “sexual bondage” film that mirrored the photos of the children, according to a statement by the sheriff’s department today.

More than 26 children from the 390 photographs have been identified; an additional 10 children have not yet been identified, police said.
http://abcnews.go.com/US/teacher-arrested-bondage-photos-students/story?id=15480041#

Teacher Charged with Taking Bondage Pics of Students
ABC News By COLLEEN CURRY | ABC News

A former elementary school teacher in Los Angeles has been arrested for allegedly molesting nearly two dozen children after photos of students posed in bondage positions were passed to the Sheriff’s Department.

Mark Berndt, 61, a teacher with over 30 years experience at Miramonte Elementary School in south Los Angeles, is charged with molesting 23 children, according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Police began the investigation after a photo processing facility passed along suspicious images depicting students blindfolded with their mouths covered in tape….In some photos, Berndt had his arm around the children or his hand over their mouths.

Police found the spoon, along with an empty container in the trash in Berndt’s classroom and, through DNA testing, determined that both contained Berndt’s semen.

The students were between the ages of 7 and 10 years old when the alleged crimes occurred, police said….

More than 26 children from the 390 photographs have been identified; an additional 10 children have not yet been identified, police said….

Berndt was arrested Monday and charged with 23 felony counts of lewd acts upon a child. He is being held at LA County jail in lieu of $2.3 million bail.
http://news.yahoo.com/teacher-charged-taking-bondage-pics-students-163621853–abc-news.html

measures to protect students from predators sometimes fail, pattern of abuse

July 26, 2010 Comments Off on measures to protect students from predators sometimes fail, pattern of abuse


Despite states’ efforts, measures to protect students from predators sometimes fail
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 25, 2010  For nearly three decades, Kevin Ricks exploited gaps in a system that is supposed to keep sexual predators out of the classroom. He landed teaching jobs at one school after another — public and private, urban and rural, domestic and foreign — despite mounting evidence of his troubling personal relationships with male students. The emerging portrait of Ricks as a serial sexual abuser raises questions about why schools continued to hire him and what could have been done to stop him….

Maryland, Virginia and other states have long sought to bolster safeguards for students. They have required criminal background checks for prospective school employees, created tougher penalties for sex crimes committed by educators or others in positions of authority, and given employers liability protections to encourage them to speak candidly during reference checks. Many states also have required school systems to file reports when teachers are convicted of sexual crimes or resign amid allegations of abuse, so that their licenses can be reviewed or revoked.

None of these measures stopped Ricks. He held at least 12 teaching positions from 1982 until his arrest in February at Osbourn High School in Manassas….In 2004, a congressionally mandated study estimated that one in 10 students from kindergarten through 12th grade were victims of some form of sexual misconduct by a school employee — from being told a dirty joke or shown pornography to being inappropriately touched or raped. In 2007, an Associated Press investigation found more than 2,500 teachers nationwide had licenses revoked, suspended or denied from 2001 through 2005 because of sexual misconduct. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/24/AR2010072402589.html

Kevin Ricks’ career as teacher, tutor shows pattern of abuse that goes back decades By Josh White, Blaine Harden and Jennifer Buske
Sunday, July 25, 2010  What teachers, parents, students and even his wife didn’t know was that his journals contained decades of dark secrets, a running handwritten commentary of Ricks’s world of obsession, infatuation, pursuit, sexual abuse and international child exploitation. They didn’t know about his library of homemade pornographic videos and explicit photographs capturing his tequila-soaked sex acts with teenage boys he had handpicked. They didn’t know about the makeshift shrine boxes containing mementos of the episodes, including sex toys, soiled tissues and hair trimmings.

Even some of the victims didn’t know they were victims.
A four-month Washington Post investigation of Ricks’s career as a teacher, tutor, foreign exchange host and camp counselor has revealed a pattern of abuse that dates to at least 1978 and has left a trail of victims spanning the globe. But despite the abuse, Ricks moved from one teaching job to the next over nearly 30 years, navigating the nation’s public and private school systems undetected, evading traps designed to catch him.  In some cases, school officials and foreign exchange companies knew of or suspected Ricks’s inappropriate behavior and simply let him go, leaving the next employer with no idea what was coming.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/24/AR2010072402605.html

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