Swimming pool underwater
Underwater view of a pool. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

A 23-year-old swim coach at Orange County’s University High School in Irvine pleaded not guilty Monday to sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl he met during the volunteer instruction at the school.

Coleman Michael Pickell of Irvine was also a “walk-on” men’s water polo coach at the school, according to Irvine police.

After Pickell was arrested in October, Irvine Unified School District officials said he was no longer a coach or had any contact with students at the school or throughout the district.

Pickell met the alleged victim during the summer of last year, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. He allegedly took the teen to a hotel room Oct. 8, prosecutors said. When her parents found her at the hotel the next morning they called police, prosecutors said.

Pickell was charged with three counts of statutory rape, two counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object of a minor and a count of oral copulation of a minor, all felonies. If convicted at trial, he could face up to six years and four months in prison.

–City News Service 

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