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Attorney: Ex-Miramonte Teacher 'Being Punished' In Small Jail Cell

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The lawyer for a former South Los Angeles elementary school teacher accused of perverted activities said Thursday his client is unjustly suffering behind bars.

KNX 1070's John Brooks reports defense attorney Victor Acevado continues to deny allegations that Mark Berndt gagged his students at Miramonte Elementary and fed them semen-laced cookies.


"There's a full denial of everything," said Acevado. "The defense position is that none of what they say happened happened...I don't know how more clearly I can say that."

Acevado also voiced concern that Berndt, 61, was being treated by the public as though he had already been convicted on the 23 counts of committing a lewd act on a child to which he plead not guilty in April.

"My understanding is that the cell he's in is very small, it's like a 9 (foot)-by-3 (foot)," said Acevedo. "He hasn't been convicted of anything and yet you would think he serving time for a sentence that he was convicted for and is being punished for."

A judge set the next court date for August 16, but it appears the preliminary hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for trial won't begin until January.


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