Yet for once, nobody really cares.
That's because the accusations are coming from alleged Miramonte Elementary sex monster Mark Berndt, in whose possession Sheriff's investigators found hundreds of photos of third-graders ...
... reportedly bound, gagged, crawling with cockroaches and being spoon-fed Berndt's semen. Of course, he hasn't been proven guilty yet -- and is in fact pleading not guilty to 23 counts of lewd acts against a minor -- but the evidence is staggering.
So, despite mounting public outrage over inmate beatings and improper treatment at L.A. County jails, the Sheriff's Department is probably going to get off the hook for this one. Sheriff Lee Baca might not even need to break out the Teflon.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Berndt's public defender claimed at his arraignment this morning that "jail staff publicly announced over a loudspeaker that Berndt was a child molester and named the dorm where he was being housed."
And lord knows what that can mean for an inmate; from what we've heard, being labeled a kiddie perv is 1,000 times worse than dropping the soap.
"My main concern is for my client's safety," Berndt's public defender told press outside the courthouse today. (Which could pretty much be a direct quote from Miramonte parents -- just replace "client" with "child.")
The attorney also claimed that deputies hadn't let Berndt shave or cut his hair.
Though the Sheriff's Department knows this is the best bad press it could ever get, spokesman Steve Whitmore assures the Times that "We don't do that kind of thing, but we're going to do an investigation of it."
And Sheriff's Commander Jim Hellmold adds that Berndt "has never been in general population. He's always been classified as a keep-away for security concerns."
Guess a little (alleged) snark over the loudspeaker was enough to give Berndt the willies. And despite our strict American judicial ideals, it's safe to say we're all a little satisfied about that.