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Hearing set for 2nd teacher accused in L.A. child abuse scandal

From Paul Vercammen, CNN
updated 5:44 PM EST, Thu February 16, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Miramonte Elementary School teacher Martin Springer has pleaded not guilty
  • A judge schedules the preliminary hearing for April 16
  • Springer is the second Miramonte teacher charged with felony lewd conduct

Los Angeles (CNN) -- A preliminary hearing for Martin Springer, the second Los Angeles teacher charged with lewd conduct with a child, was set Thursday for April 16.

The former Miramonte Elementary School teacher has been charged with three felony counts of lewd acts with a girl under the age of 14. He has pleaded not guilty.

Springer was released last Friday in lieu of $300,000 bond and fitted with a court-ordered ankle monitoring device.

On Thursday, Superior Court Judge Shelly Torrealba scheduled the April hearing date and denied a defense request to remove the device.

The defense had argued it "suggests guilt" and is "akin to an inmate walking into a courtroom in shackles during a hearing or trial."

Springer walked into court wearing sunglasses and a blue blazer.

The Los Angeles Unified School District board fired Springer hours after he was formally charged this month. He was the second teacher at Miramonte charged with lewd conduct.

Former Miramonte teacher Mark Berndt, 61, was arrested and accused of taking bondage photos of more than two dozen students in his classroom, including some with suspected semen-filled spoons at their mouths.

Berndt was charged with 23 felony counts of lewd acts with pupils, a sheriff's spokesman said. He is being held in lieu of $23 million bail.

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