Accused child molester Eric Uller was found dead Thursday morning in his apartment in what officials are saying is a possible suicide.
Uller, age 50, was accused of sexually abusing boys between the ages of 12 and 16 years old when he was a volunteer at the Santa Monica Police Activities League starting in 1986. The investigation was being conducted by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and Uller’s home also falls under LASD jurisdiction.
“The City was notified this morning that Eric Uller was found dead in his apartment. Initial indications are that it appears to be a suicide,” said a statement released by City Hall. “The City was shocked to receive this news. Mr. Uller had been expected to appear in court this morning on the criminal charges previously filed against him. The court was also advised of his death.”
He faced three counts of lewd acts upon a child, two counts of oral copulation of a person under 18 and one count of continuous sexual abuse. Uller was scheduled for a court appearance on Nov. 15 but his attorneys had previously entered a not guilty plea on all counts. He posted bail last week and had returned to his apartment in Marina Del Rey.
Uller had been employed with the City of Santa Monica’s Information Technology department. Officials announced last week that he was no longer a city employee but did not elaborate on if he was fired or resigned.
Uller’s death is unlikely to end a troubling chapter as several residents have accused City officials of failing to investigate past complaints about Uller. Santa Monica has hired an outside firm to conduct an internal review to determine what was known and that review is independent from the criminal case.
“The City had initiated an independent investigation into allegations that the City previously knew or should have known of, but failed to address, Mr. Uller’s alleged criminal conduct. The City remains committed to seeing this investigation through,” said the City’s statement. “The City has retained Irma Rodríguez Moises and Gabriel Sandoval at the law firm of Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo to conduct an independent investigation of these allegations. The independent investigation is already underway, and will also review whether the City had in place sufficient procedures to encourage reporting of such conduct and to ensure that reports are acted on. The City continues to encourage anyone who has information relevant to the independent investigation to reach out directly to the independent counsel at https://www.aalrr.com/contact-cerritos or 562-653-3200.”
City Hall has also said it will review all policies and procedures related to City-funded youth programs, including PAL.
“The City is in the process of retaining an outside consultant, Praesidium, Inc., to review the policies and practices of its youth programs and provide guidance on best practices for preventing any future incidents of abuse. Information about Praesidium can be found at its website, https://website.praesidiuminc.com/wp/,” said the statement.