Crime & Justice

Ex-UCLA athletics official charged with possessing child pornography

File photo showing the UCLA campus in Southern California.
File photo showing the UCLA campus in Southern California.
Better Than Bacon/Flickr Creative Commons

A former associate athletic director at UCLA is facing criminal charges for allegedly having child pornography on his university-issued laptop computer.

Michael Sondheimer quit the university last year while the case was being investigated. He's expected to appear in court Friday to be arraigned on one charge of possession of child pornography.

"There is no information to suggest that Sondheimer solicited or targeted anyone associated with UCLA," the Los Angeles District Attorney's office said in a press release.

According to an online profile, Sondheimer began at UCLA as a student and worked at the school for decades, first as a promotions director for women's sports. He rose through the ranks to associate athletic director, mostly in charge of helping recruit and secure scholarships for student athletes.

In June of last year, accusations emerged in the press that Sondheimer had attempted to engage in sexual conversations with children online. On June 3, UCLA placed him on administrative leave, citing "allegations that he had engaged in inappropriate conduct."

Sondheimer resigned later that month.

UCLA Police arrested Sondheimer at his home on February 27, a day after the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office filed charges, UCLA said in a statement. If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison.

Sondheimer's case, which is being handled by the UCLA Police Department, remains under investigation.