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Former Miramonte Teacher Mark Berndt Scheduled to Appear in Court Today [UPDATED]

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Photo of Mark Berndt courtesy of L.A. Sheriff's Department
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Mark Berndt, the Miramonte teacher accused of performing bondage acts on elementary school students, is scheduled to appear in court today for an arraignment. He's charged with 23 counts of lewd acts against children, reports the L.A. Times.

Berndt, 61, was arrested in January after photos were turned over to police of Berndt posing with students who had tape over their eyes and sometimes their mouths, cockroaches on their faces and some with a plastic spoon held up to their mouths containing what's believed to be Berndt's semen.

Since Berndt's arrest, another teacher was charged with molesting at least one student at Miramonte, and the entire school was shut down in the wake of the scandal as staff members were relocated to a new workplace.

Berndt is being held on $23 million bail, and could face life in prison if convicted.

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UPDATE 11:10 AM: CBS News reports that Berndt has plead not guilty to all charges of committing lewd acts on children. He's expected to be back in court on March 28.