USA Water Polo officials Monday declined to comment on a lawsuit filed by a 19-year-old Orange County athlete, who alleges she was molested by a former coach.
The victim, whose name was not released, alleges in the lawsuit filed Friday that former coach Bahram Hojreh, who worked for the International Water Polo Club in Los Alamitos, molested her when she was 16.
Greg Mescall, USA Water Polo’s director of communications, said the organization “has no comment at this time.”
The lawsuit, which also alleges sexual harassment, also names International Water Polo Club and Hojreh as defendants.
The alleged molestation occurred in 2016, according to the lawsuit.
The plaintiff alleges in the lawsuit that Hojreh “previously engaged in abusive behavior of female minors at University High School in Irvine… including, but not limited to, touching female children inappropriately, engaging in verbally and physically abusive behavior towards the female minors who were players on Hojreh’s water polo team, resulting in hundreds of complaints by students and their families against Hojreh.”
The Los Alamitos club also received a report in July 2017 from USA Water Polo that alleged players on Hojreh’s team were “sexually assaulting other players at the Junior Olympic Qualifying tournament and the IE Challenge,” the lawsuit alleges.
Despite those complaints the coach was not arrested until April 2018, the lawsuit alleges.
The victim’s attorney, Morgan Stewart, alleged that the coach had a “method of `training his athletes,’ who in turn thought such behavior was acceptable as part of competition… Hojreh’s actions effectively brainwashed these girls into accepting the normalcy of sexual assault in sports.”
Hojreh was charged in April 2018 with molesting seven teenage girls he coached. He has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.
Hojreh is next due in court for a pretrial hearing March 15 in the West Justice Center in Westminster.
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