Water polo coach convicted of sexual assault of teen players

Nov 16, 2022, 4:18 PM | Updated: 4:42 pm

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California water polo coach was convicted Wednesday of sexually assaulting teenage girls during underwater training sessions while he claimed to be preparing them for competition, prosecutors said.

Jurors convicted Bahram Hojreh — who coached for the International Water Polo Club in Los Alamitos, California, and Kennedy High School in nearby La Palma — of 22 felony counts including sexual battery and lewd acts on a child on nine teenage victims from 2012 to 2017, the Orange County District Attorney’s office said in a statement.

Hojreh, 46, was also convicted of a lesser assault charge on a tenth victim, prosecutors said.

During trial, victims testified that the coach abused them underwater during coaching sessions and claimed it was to “toughen them up” for competition. In some instances, their parents were poolside when the assaults occurred at an Olympic-size pool at a military base in Los Alamitos, prosecutors said.

“The wounds these young girls suffered at the hands of this monster may not be visible, but they are very, very real and they are scars that they will carry with them forever,” District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in the statement.

Hojreh is being held without bail pending sentencing. He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 12.

A message seeking comment was left for his lawyer.

After the allegations, Hojreh was barred from participation in USA Water Polo events.

A group of players who accused him of abuse filed a lawsuit against the club and USA Water Polo, alleging they failed to protect them. Last year, they reached a $14 million settlement.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Pullman Yards in Atlanta...

Associated Press

US shoots down ‘nearly all’ Iran-launched attack drones as Biden vows support for Israel’s defense

Joe Biden cut short a weekend stay at his beach house to meet with his national security team as Iran launched an attack against Israel.

14 hours ago

Protesters in Phoenix shout as they join thousands marching around the Arizona state Capitol after ...

Associated Press

Abortion ruling supercharges Arizona to be an especially important swing state

A ruling this week instituting a near-total abortion ban supercharged Arizona's role, turning it into the most critical battleground.

1 day ago

Former President Donald Trump, center, appears in court for his arraignment, Tuesday, April 4, 2023...

Associated Press

Manhattan court searching for jurors to hear first-ever criminal case against a former president

Jury selection is set to start Monday in former President Donald Trump's hush money case — the first trial of the presumptive nominee.

1 day ago

Emergency personnel arrive on the scene after a  an 18-wheeler crashed into the Texas Department of...

Associated Press

1 dead and 13 injured in semitrailer crash at a Texas public safety office, with the driver jailed

A driver rammed an 18-wheeler though the front of a building where his renewal for a commercial driver’s license had been rejected.

1 day ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a Get Out The Vote rally ...

Associated Press

Trump pushes Arizona lawmakers to ‘remedy’ state abortion ruling that he says ‘went too far’

Donald Trump urged Arizona lawmakers on Friday to swiftly “remedy” the state court ruling allowing prosecutors to enforce an abortion ban.

1 day ago

Biden to require more gun dealers to run background checks....

Associated Press

Biden administration will require thousands more gun dealers to run background checks on buyers

New Biden rule to require thousands more firearms dealers across the United States will have to run background checks on buyers.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Water polo coach convicted of sexual assault of teen players