Ari Poppers resigns from SRJC performing arts department, SRPD investigation ends

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Theater arts production specialist Ari Eden Poppers has resigned from the theater arts department at Santa Rosa Junior College, according to an email from SRJC acting vice president of human resources Sarah Hopkins, released today hui by theater staff.

The resignation comes following a scandal that exposed Poppers explicit and sexual conversation with a person claiming to be a 16 year old girl, after which nearly ten former students reported that Poppers, 45, had behaved inappropriately with them during his 13 years at SRJC.

SRJC put Poppers on administrative leave and opened an internal investigation on April 16 in response to the Facebook post, but due to legal constraints, it is not known whether SRJC’s investigation into Poppers has been completed.

“The internal investigation remains a confidential personal matter and no further information will be provided,” said Administrative assistant Zehra Sonkaynar.

Santa Rosa Police Department Investigation of Poppers’ interaction with Lexi “is largely over,” according to Christopher Mahurin, public information officer for the SRPD.

“It does not appear to be the case on [district attorney]the office of would be able to file at this point, for the only specific incident [with Sanderson]”Mahurin said.” At the moment, we cannot determine if there really is any knowledge that [Poppers] believed the person was under 18, based on several different factors, which were also commented on in social media posts. “

This gray area exists because while Lexi pretended to be 16 in their conversation, Lexi’s Facebook profile page showed a date of birth that made her 23 – not a minor.

Mahurin said he believed the SRJC district police were also investigating “other things,” but SRJC police chief Robert Brownlee said she never opened an office. investigating Poppers.

“We were working in conjunction with SRPD, and when the SRJC message went out, we had people reaching out to us,” Brownlee said. “Obviously, if there was a crime on the JC campus, we would take it, but we didn’t see any victims of crime come forward. “

Brownlee said all verified information about Poppers harassing students or acting inappropriately has been forwarded to SRJC’s human resources department for their investigation.

According to Hopkins’ email, a short-term temporary employee will take on Popper’s former role until at least May 18.

Additional reporting by Alex Fuller.


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