Officials said that Thursday’s sentencing for a former Temecula teacher of dance is set after she pleaded guilty last month to engaging in lewd acts among students.
Eric Eustacio Saradpon (43) entered guilty pleas for three counts that involved minor victims associated with his work at a dance teacher from 2007 to 2019 at Temecula Dance Company, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release Wednesday.
According to the criminal complaint, he pleaded guilty at the trial to oral copulation with an under-18-year-old and to two counts for committing a lewd or lascivious act on and with the body and parts of a 14- and 15 year old child.
There were five minor victims in the case, the DA’s office said.
“As one of the dance teachers, Saradpon was entrusted with the heath, safety, and emotional well being of the minors at the studio and when in dance competitions across the country,” the DA’s Office said. “Instead, he engaged in a pattern of grooming, seducing, and molesting his victims.”
Saradpon is due to be sentenced at Murrieta at 9:00 a.m.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department served a search warrant on Oct. 12 at Saradpon’s residence on the 39000 block of Sundance Circle, in connection to a lewd acts with minors investigation. According to the department, they had seized many “evidence items”The location.
According to the department, Saradpon was taken into custody while at the dance studio at 28404 Felix Valdez Ave. in November 2020. He was suspected of felony crimes, including sodomy with force and lewd acts as children.
Ed Morel, the owner of Temecula Dance Company, said to KTLA that Saradpon had worked at the studio for approximately 15 years. He also passed a background check.
“My wife and I have owned this business for 30 years. We’ve had thousands of kids come through here,”He stated. “Anybody who puts any of our kids in danger is not welcome here.”
Morel claimed that he severed all ties with Saradpon after being informed by detectives about the allegations. He continued to state, “Maybe it happened. Maybe it didn’t. But that has nothing to do with us.”
An ex-student of Saradpon aged 13 said that after the 2020 arrest, the instructor would allow students to spend the night at his house.
“The fact that he has boys sleepover at his house, which are like 13 years old … It was just was weird to me,”Brendan was the student who spoke.
Brendan’s mom pulled him out of the dance school after the allegations surfaced.
“You see the behaviors of him with the students and you know it’s not normal. But nobody questions it,”At the time, his mom said it.