By: Kyle James | 04-05-2018 | News
Photo credit: Rose Palmisano/The Orange County Register

California - Water Polo Coach Arrested For Molesting 7 Young Girls

Crimes against children are heinous, but crimes committed by adults in positions of authority against children are especially disturbing. A coach for a USA Water Polo affiliated club has been charged with sexual abuse of seven minor female players, according to prosecutors. Wednesday, 42-year-old Bahram Hojreh pleaded not guilty to charges ranging from sexual battery to lewd acts upon a child and sexual penetration by foreign object of a minor.

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Hojreh and his attorney, Ricardo Nicol, appeared Wednesday in Orange County Superior Court and testified that Hojreh never had a blemish on his record after working with hundreds of kids over a span of two decades. The alleged crimes took place between 2014 and January 2018, according to Orange County District Court attorney's office. Four of the seven victims were under the age of 15 at the time of the abuse.

Victims reported they were sexually abused during one-on-one coaching sessions with Hojreh and at least two of the players reported the assaults to their parents. The parents reported the assaults to authorities upon learning Hojreh was touching the girls’ breasts and genitals, penetrating them with his fingers and coercing them to touch his own genitals. It is believed there could be additional victims of Hojreh.

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The accusations against Hojreh resulted in the International Water Polo Club being disallowed from using the pool at a joint military base in Los Alamitos after base officials were informed by police of Hojreh's "sexual misconduct", according to Col. Richard Lalor, a spokesman for the base. The case is strikingly similar to serial pedophile Larry Nassar's Olympian child rape spree, Hojreh even touts himself as having "helped develop multiple Olympians."

Christopher Ramsey, the CEO of USA Water Polo, says Hojreh was suspended from the regional board and had his membership in the organization revoked. "Christopher Ramsey, the CEO of USA Water Polo," Ramsey said Wednesday. Hojreh was released Wednesday on $250,000 bond and was ordered to appear for a pretrial hearing June 14, according to the district attorney's office.

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