A prominent youth dance teacher was led away in handcuffs Tuesday, Oct. 13 at Temecula Dance Company, the studio at which he served as the Director of Hip Hop.
Erik Saradpon, 42, was arrested by Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Temecula Police Department deputies at 6:30 p.m. and booked into the Cois M. Byrd Detention Center at 7:15 p.m. on felony counts of sodomy with a person under 18 years of age, sodomy by force, and two counts of lewd lascivious acts with a person under the age of 14.
Saradpon’s bail was set at $10,000.
According to a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department report and press release issued Wednesday, investigators and deputies served a search warrant at a residence on the 39000 block of Sundance Circle in Temecula in relation to a lewd acts with minors investigation.
“Several evidence items were seized at the location,” Sergeant Edmond Seltzer reported. “Saradpon is a dance instructor and is alleged to have had inappropriate contact and relationships with former and current students.”
Saradpon is represented by MSA Agency, is the founder of a professional dance company, FORMALITY, and has taught for Dancerpalooza, The Pulse, 2 Days in OC, Broadway Dance Center, Pineapple Studios, and Dance Teacher Summit.
He has contributed as a choreographer on projects that aired on NBC, Fox and Lifetime, has been featured in Dance Studio Life Magazine, and is the executive producer of Platform Choreography Showcase, Urban Legends Workshop, and Illskillz Dance Intensive.
According to his biography on the Temecula Dance Company website, Saradpon was most proud of training “a multitude of his dancers to pursue professional dance careers.”
Valley News has reached out to Temecula Dance Company and MSA Agency for comment, but has yet to receive a response.
As of Wednesday, Oct. 14, Temecula Dance Company had removed Saradpon’s profile from the company’s list of staff and teachers and MSA Agency removed him from their list of choreographers.
Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said the investigation is currently on-going and no further information will be released at this time. They asked if anyone has information in regards to this incident or any other similar incidents, they should call Investigator Franchville at the Southwest Station at 951-696-3000.
Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s Crime Tips online form at https://www.riversidesheriff.org/FormCenter/Crime-6/Crime-Tips-48.
Jeff Pack can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.