Four former water polo players have sued their school district and USA Water Polo for abuse they say happened under their former coaches.
The four female athletes are actually involved in two different lawsuits, The OC Register reports. Two of the former water polo players are suing the Anaheim Union High School District and former water polo coach Joshua Christopher Owens. Meanwhile three former players have sued the school district, USA Water Polo, former coach Bahram Hojreh and his former club, International Water Polo Club.
Both coaches have been previously accused of sex crimes. The 24-year-old Owens pleaded guilty last week to sexually assaulting three teenage girls. He’s now spending six months in jail. Hojreh, meanwhile, is accused of sexually abusing seven girls while coaching at the International Water Polo Club. He now faces a slew of felony and misdemeanor charges, pleading not guilty in April.
An attorney for the four players in the lawsuit told the OC Register that the charges involve grooming:
“It’s the grooming process that leads to these girls’ loss of innocence,” attorney Megan Stewart told the Register. She went on to say that the school district, the water polo club and USA Water Polo “had reason to know that these coaches engaged in unlawful sexually-related conduct in the past,” yet did not protect her clients.