This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Case Dropped Against Second Miramonte Teacher Accused Of Sexual Abuse
L.A. County prosecutors dropped a sexual abuse case against a Miramonte Elementary School teacher.The trial for former third-grad teacher Martin Springer, 51, began this week, but was dismissed today when prosecutors were told by the victim's family that the 12-year-old girl was too traumatized to testify in court, according to the Los Angeles Times and KTTV. It was difficult for her to testify after the Sept. 2012 preliminary hearing. She claimed Springer had inappropriately touched her leg on many occasions.
The teacher, who's been free on bail, was arrested in Feb. 2012. Springer had pleaded not guilty to three felony counts of committing a lewd act. If he had been convicted, he would have faced 12 years in prison. However, a court official told KNBC that prosecutors have the ability to refile the charges.
His arrest came in the wake of accusations against another teacher Mark Berndt, who police said had conducted lewd acts on a number of students. It included him taking photos of children who were blindfolded and gagged and feeding them cookies with semen on them. Berndt pleaded no contest back in November and is now serving 25 years in prison.
Springer's lawyer, John Tyre, said his client's actions were "blown out of proportion" because of the Berndt case, reported the Times. "This appears to be for lack of a better word (a) witch-hunt,'' Springer's attorney John Tyre told the judge at the September 2012 hearing, according to KTTV.
The L.A. Unified District fired Springer (who had taught at the school for 26 years) from his job and took away his state teaching credential, the Times reported. They had paid a $470,000 settlement to six other children who claimed they were molested by Springer.
Southern California's Snow-Capped Mountains Are Beautiful. Here's Where To Maximize The View (And Snap A Great Picture)It's been many, many years since we saw this much snow in our mountains. Going up there right now isn't safe, but here are some places where you can enjoy the view and snap a pic.
April Valentine died at Centinela Hospital. Her daughter was born by emergency C-section. She'd gone into the pregnancy with a plan, knowing Black mothers like herself were at higher risk.
A look at years past when snows creeped into our citified neighborhoods, away from the mountains and foothills.
In the face of a drier future, that iconic piece of Americana is on its way out in Southern California.
Another Missing Hiker Has Been Found Dead In San Gabriels As Search For Actor Julian Sands ContinuesBob Gregory, 62, went missing the same day as Sands. His body was recovered near Mount Islip.