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Santa Monica Police Department Allegedly Ignored Warnings of Sexual Abuse Regarding Officer Eric Uller

Santa Monica Settles Remaining Sexual Abuse Claims Involving Police Officer Eric Uller For $229.8 Million

child sexual abuse

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA (April 26, 2023) – The city of Santa Monica has settled all remaining claims regarding sexual abuse allegations at the Police Activities league. 

The final payout was $122.5 million bringing the total payouts for the Eric Uller case to 229.8 million. Eric Uller was a Santa Monica police officer and volunteered at the Police Activities League (PALs), which operated as a city owned non-profit for children. 

Officer Eric Uller was accused of abusing boys from the later 1980’s to early 2000’s while he served as a volunteer for the Police Activities League. He was arrested and facing trial of November 2018, but he committed suicide before the trial was set to begin. 

As a result of the lawsuits, Santa Monica claims that it has expanded requirements for child abuse mandated reporter training for all of its employees. City officials are saying that all remaining payments to victims will be completed by June 30, 2023. 

Liability For Santa Monica Police Sexual Abuse 

Child sexual abuse is tragically far more common than most people realize. According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, “1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse. Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident.” Children are particularly vulnerable to abuse by authority figures such as teachers, preachers and police officers. Sexual abuse can take a number of different forms including:

  • Unwanted touching
  • Unwanted kissing
  • Forcible object penetration
  • Rape

Police officers are mandated reporters. Pursuant to California Penal Code 11166(c), they must report any reasonably suspected instance of sexual abuse. Failure to report any reasonably suspected instance of child sexual abuse is a crime punishable by up to six months in jail or by a fine. When a police officer fails to report sexual abuse, the department that they work for could also be vicariously liable in a civil claim. 

Under California Government Code section 815.2, a public entity such as a school district can be liable for an act or omission of an employee of the public entity working within the scope of his or her employment. In  Rogers v. City of Little Rock, an 8th circuit court found that an officer who allegedly raped a female motorist after following her home acted “under the colour of law,” thereby constituting a civil rights violation. There are many steps that should be taken after any instance of sexual assault by a police officer. 

  • Eye witnesses should be interviewed. 
  • Medical records should be preserved. 
  • A thorough investigation should be conducted. 
  • A sexual abuse attorney should be consulted. 

Sexual abuse is one of the most destructive and harmful things that a child can go through. It can lead to long-term psychological trauma and destroy their ability to fully trust other people. Any person that has been sexually abused by a police officer may be able to seek some measure of justice through a civil claim. A sexual abuse attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are. 

Investigating Sexual Assaults By California Police Officers 

We at the Carrillo Law Firm, LLP extend our best wishes to all of the people who have been victims of officer Eric Uller. This was a series of horrific crimes that should have never taken place. The Santa Monica Police Department should be doing everything it can to make sure that something like this never happens again. 

Have you or someone that you care about been sexually abused by a California police officer? Our team of personal injury attorneys are here for you. We care deeply that abuse victims are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support after a sexual assault we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 626-799-9375.

Author

MICHAEL S. CARRILLO, Partner

Michael works on high-profile cases that have garnered national media attention. His practice today focuses on child sexual abuse cases, police misconduct cases, catastrophic injuries and other wrongful death matters. He is a passionate advocate for his clients including the countless child sexual abuse victims he currently represents.