A settlement was reached last Friday in a lawsuit brought in California state court against USA Water Polo and the International Water Polo Club in California involving allegations that a male coach for the National Team and California club, Bahram Hojreh, had sexually assaulted and abused them during the period 2012 to 2017.
Thirty-plus years in law enforcement experience and close working associations with investigators who deal with these kinds of crimes leads to one simple fact — pedophiles will always gather where they find the easiest access to children that involves the least risk of exposure. Unsupervised coaching of youth sports is way up near the top of that list.
Hojreh is currently facing 34 counts of sexual abuse involving ten victims, nine of whom were children at the time they were assaulted. The abuse took place during one-on-one coaching sessions with the girls, all of whom aspired to play water polo at the highest levels. National sports federations like USA Water Polo are responsible for fielding Olympics and other national teams competing internationally on behalf of the United States.
There were 12 girls listed as plaintiffs in the civil suit that was settled. The $14 million payout will be funded by insurers of USA Water Polo and the International Water Polo Club.
The criminal charges pending against Hojreh include allegations that he committed lewd acts on a child, engaged in sexual penetration with a foreign object, as well as engaging in sexual battery by fraud. That allegation relates to claims that the victims were not aware they were being molested because Hojreh told them his “touching served a professional purpose.”
USA Water Polo has its headquarters in Irvine, California. International Water Polo Club is based in Orange County, California. The lawsuit alleged that both, along with Irvine School District where Hojreh also coached, ignored warning signs of abuse going back as far as 2008.
USA Water Polo was facing civil suits for negligence under California law for failing to act upon reports in the summer of 2017 that Hojreh’s players at the International Club were sexually abusing opposing
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