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Sheriff's Department Says Allegations That a Third Teacher Was Involved in Miramonte Abuse Scandal Are 'Fabricated'

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Image via Miramonte Elementary
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The sheriff's department says the claims that there was a third teacher at Miramonte Elementary School who aided and abetted lewd acts against children aren't true.

Two teachers at the school have been fired and charged with lewd acts against children, but KTLA reported allegations that a third female teacher knew what was going on in Berndt's classroom—that he was feeding students his semen—and actually helped him.

But the sheriff's department said they have not found evidence that this teacher knew what was going on in Berndt's classroom. The department told KPCC that she is not a suspect in the case—and they say that she never was.

Department spokesman Steve Whitmore told KPCC, "Our investigators are saying that that individual was never suspected. They talked to the woman and they looked at all the evidence and decided there was nothing criminal. ... It's all fabricated."

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It's not even clear that there was any wrongdoing based on KTLA's interview with the anonymous Miramonte student. In the interview, the little girl talks about how her female teacher picked her out to receive cookies from Berndt. This female teacher's actions would likely only be criminal if she knew about Berndt's alleged behavior.

Later on in the interview with KTLA, it is the student's attorney—and not the student herself—who suggests that her teacher not only knew about Berndt's alleged criminal behavior but helped him commit his crimes.

"The teacher should have been protecting her from Mr. Berndt, and she helped him do it," Claypool told KTLA.

KTLA responded to KPCC, saying that they have been updating the story as they learned new details: "We reported on updates as they developed," said Jason Ball, news director for KTLA, told KPCC. "Obviously, this is a growing, changing story, so we've just, we're reporting the news as we get it."