Temecula Dance Instructor Who Pleaded Guilty to Sex Crimes With Minors to be Sentenced

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Temecula Dance Instructor Pleads Guilty to Lewd Acts With Students; Sentencing Scheduled

Temecula Dance Instructor Pleads Guilty to Lewd Acts With Students; Sentencing Scheduled

May 26, 2022

A former dance instructor at a Temecula, California, studio pleaded guilty to lewd acts with students last month. Eric Eustacio Saradpon, 43, entered guilty pleas on three counts involving minor victims associated with his work as a dance teacher from 2007 to 2019 at Temecula Dance Company, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office confirmed in a Wednesday news release.

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Saradpon is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday, according to a local KTLA report.

According to the criminal complaint, the former dance instructor pleaded guilty to the following charges:

  • One count of participating in an act of oral copulation with a person under the age of 18
  • Two counts of committing a lewd and lascivious act upon and with the body and certain parts of a child who is 14 and 15 years old

Five survivors – all minors – were reportedly named in the complaint, according to the Riverside District Attorney’s Office.

“As one of the dance teachers, Saradpon was entrusted with the health, 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.”

Arrest of Dance Instructor Eric Eustacio Saradpon

On October 12, 2020, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department served a search warrant at Saradpon’s residence – on the 39000 block of Sundance Circle – in connection to a “lewd acts with minors investigation,” according to KTLA.

The sheriff’s department confirmed that they seized several “evidence items” at the location.

Furthermore, the sheriff’s department confirmed that in November 2020, Saradpon was arrested while at the dance studio – located at 28404 Felix Valdez Avenue – on suspicion of felony crimes.

Said crimes reportedly included:

  • Sodomy by force
  • Lewd acts with children

At the time of the arrest, Ed Morel, who owns Temecula Dance Company with his wife, reportedly told KTLA that Saradpon worked at the studio for approximately 15 years and had passed a background check.

My wife and I have owned this business for 30 years. We’ve had thousands of kids come through here,” Morel said to KTLA. “Anybody who puts any of our kids in danger is not welcome here.

Morel reportedly “cut ties” with Saradpon immediately after detectives informed him about the allegations.

Former Student of Saradpon Recounts Sleepovers With Students

Following the 2020 arrest of Saradpon, KTLA reported that a 13-year-old former student confirmed that the dance instructor would have students spend the night at his home.

The fact that he has boys sleepover at his house, which are like 13 years old … It was just weird to me,” the student, identified only as Brendan, said to KTLA.

Brendan’s mother reportedly removed him from the dance school after the allegations were made public.

You see the behaviors of him with the students and you know it’s not normal. But nobody questions it,” his mom said to KTLA at the time.

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