Los Angeles schools settle teacher lewdness claims for $34m
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles school district will pay about US$27.2 million (S$33.9 million) to settle dozens of legal actions related to an abuse case in which a former teacher is charged with lewd acts on students over five years.
District officials did not reveal the amount of the settlement, but lawyer Raymond Boucher, who represents several students, said on Tuesday each claimant would receive US$470,000.
District General Counsel David Holmquist said the settlement covers 58 of the 191 claims and lawsuits filed by students and parents against the district after the January 2012 arrest of former teacher Mark Berndt on 23 charges of lewd behaviour. The 58 people involved in the settlement are all students, he said.
Prosecutors said Berndt played "tasting games" with students in which he fed them his semen on cookies and by spoon, sometimes blindfolding and photographing them. Berndt, who taught for 32 years at a Los Angeles school, has pleaded not guilty in the criminal case.