Bail for teacher in molestation case set at US$23M

Bail for a former school teacher accused of taking bizarre photos of children in his classroom for a sexual thrill was raised Wednesday to $23 million, as parents questioned why they weren’t notified when the pictures were found more than a year ago.

LOS ANGELES — Bail for a former school teacher accused of taking bizarre photos of children in his classroom for a sexual thrill was raised Wednesday to $23 million, as parents questioned why they weren’t notified when the pictures were found more than a year ago.

Mark Berndt, 61, appeared in court for the first time after being charged with committing lewd acts involving 23 boys and girls, ages 6 to 10, between 2008 and 2010.

The tall and greying Berndt, represented by public defender Liz Braunstein, seemed calm in court as he spoke only to acknowledge his identity and birthdate and agreed to have his arraignment put over to Feb. 21.

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