SOUTH LOS ANGELES — Investigators arrested a second school teacher at Miramonte Elementary School, an Alhambra man, Friday on suspicion of child molestation, authorities said.
Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Special Victims Unit arrested Martin Springer, 49, about 10 a.m. as he was exiting a Los Angeles Unified School District building at 107th Street and Western in South Los Angeles, sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker said in a written statement.
“The allegations involve two girls who were allegedly fondled in the classroom at Miramonte school by suspect Springer,” Parker said. “They were approximately 7-years old at the time of the incidents, which were alleged to have occurred during the past three years.”
Springer was being held in lieu of $2 million bail at the Inmate Reception Center in Los Angeles pending his arraignment, which was scheduled Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, according to county booking records.
Springer’s arrest stemmed indirectly from Monday’s arrest of another teacher at Miramonte Elementary School, 61-year-old Mark Berndt.
Berndt is being held in lieu of $23 million bail pending his Feb. 21 arraignment on 23 counts of child molestation.
He’s accused of taping the eyes and mouths of students, placing cockroaches on their faces and spoon-feeding them a substance authorities have said had been identified as Berndt’s semen.
Berndt’s arrest came after a photo shop employee became concerned and notified authorities while developing Berndt’s pictures, investigators said.
“As a result of recent requests from the sheriff’s department for members of the public to contact us with any information regarding possible criminal activity at Miramonte school, we received new information (Thursday) morning. That information led investigators to (Springer).”
Springer was interviewed by investigators Wednesday and subsequently suspended from his teaching duties, Parker said. he had been under surveillance by deputies since Thursday, Parker said.
He was arrested by detectives exiting a school building at 107th Street and Western in South Los Angeles, officials added.
No one answered one phone phone numbers listed in public records as belonging to Springer Friday afternoon. A second phone number associated with him was disconnected.
And the investigation continues, Parker said.
“Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau investigators are seeking the help of the public to identify possible additional victims during the suspect’s tenure at Miramonte Elementary School,” he said.
Additionally, Parker said, “Sheriff (Lee) Baca understands the public’s concern about this and has dedicated the necessary resources to thoroughly investigate all the information that we have received and will receive.”
Anyone with information was asked to contact Special Victims Unit detectives at 877-710-5273, or tips can be left anonymously be calling L.A. Crimestoppers at 800-222-8477.
PHOTO of Martin Springer courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department