(The AEGIS Alliance) – A well-known coach of water polo in Orange County was given a jail sentence on Friday for committing sexual abuse against nine adolescent females over a period of several years.
Age 46 Bahram Hojreh, a man from Irvine, was given a punishment of 18 years and four months for committing sexual abuse against nine adolescent females he coached and another athlete during a five-year timeframe, KTLA reported the news.
KTLA reports that Hojreh was determined guilty by a jury in November for 22 criminal felony charges that include sexual battery, sexual penetration, and committing lewd acts on a minor, as stated by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
The authorities reported that Hojreh committed sexual assault on nine water polo players aged between 13 to 17 years old, between the years 2012 to 2017.
He was working as a coach for the International Water Polo Club located in Los Alamitos and at Kennedy High School situated in La Palma.
Many of the sexual assaults committed by Hojreh happened underwater during pool training sessions at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos. Since the assaults were happening underwater, the parents of the victims who were watching from the poolside were not aware of it, according to the authorities.
The victims stated that Hojreh had engaged in inappropriate touching of their breasts, twisting of their nipples, fondling of their genitals above and below their swimsuits, and digital penetration while they were at coaching sessions. He attempted to justify his actions by claiming that it was to “toughen them up for competition.”
According to the authorities, Hojreh abused his position of trust and authority as a reputable club and high school water polo coach to commit sexual abuse against young girls.
The victims reported that Hojreh’s reputation as a successful coach had given them the belief that he would be the person who could help them achieve their athletic aspirations.
According to KTLA, in June 2021, a group of twelve female athletes who had been harmed by Hojreh received approximately $14 million in a settlement after suing USA Water Polo and a California-based club.
“This coach held the keys to the athletic dreams of these young girls and he manipulated them into believing these sexual assaults were part of their training,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer stated.
He continued, “It is heartbreaking that another trusted mentor abused the trust of his athletes and their parents to prey on children for his own sexual gratification – and to do it under the guise of legitimate athletic activity. Today’s sentence will not erase the lifelong trauma these young girls will be forced to endure, but I hope it will serve as a powerful example for children that they matter and no adult – no matter who they are or the position they hold – have the right to sexually abuse them. We are thankful the jury saw through the defense’s pathetic argument that this was nothing more than a money grab and saw that these vulnerable children were preyed upon by a pedophile.”
Jeffrey Childers – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.