Mark Berndt was arrested and charged with 23 counts of lewd acts with children. Berndt was a teacher for many years with the Los Angeles Unified School District. Berndt was fired by the District after the investigation into accusations that he was molesting his children. The charges date back to 2005.
At a time when most people are disgusted by the allegations against a teacher, I think about the deep pockets of the school district and how much liability they will have in a case like this and then I multiply that by the number of victims in this case. Then I like to think about some creative way to approach the settlement negotiations. Maybe I ask for a million dollars for every ounce of semen that mr. Berndt spooned into his victims' mouths. Maybe a I ask for 100,000 dollars for every act of tying and binding and blindfolding each of his victims. It's not that hard to get creative with one's settlement demands, but I feel it is an effective way to get a jury to grasp such a large number. Any way you spoon it, I see this as an eight figure case. This is not to say that this case would be easy to settle, however, in the end, in the hands of the right lawyer, this case is a big money maker.
It has long been my belief that embarrassing subject matter is something that defendants do not want to be made public in a courtroom. In this case, a veteran teacher is charged with sexually abusing his children and photographing it over a period of at least six years. He possessed hundreds of pictures of the child victims, many of whom were photographed tied up or gagged. Statements to the Los Angeles Times indicate that the teacher's peculiar behavior was evident for some years. Complaints about this teacher's behavior appear to date back some twenty-plus years.
This is not a case that is likely to ever see trial. As I see it, it will be settled by way of a confidential settlement, the record of which will be sealed by the court.
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