A local water polo coach pleaded not guilty yesterday afternoon to sexually assaulting seven girls during practice at his Los Alamitos club. The Orange County district attorney’s office charged Bahram Hojreh, a 42-year-old Irvine resident, with multiple felony and misdemeanor counts. After his arraignment at West Justice Center yesterday, the investigation continues as authorities believe there may be more victims in the case.
For now, Hojreh stands accused of sexually assaulting the underage girls in incidents between September 2014 and January of 2018. During that time, he coached at his International Water Polo Club which used a pool at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos. Two of the alleged victims reported the assaults to their parents who then alerted Child Protective Services. The agency contacted the Los Alamitos Police Department. During their investigation, police identified five more victims.
Hojreh touted himself as a coach and athlete in the sport for nearly 25 years who has helped develop half-a-dozen Olympians. He started the local Winter Festival Water Polo Tournament. In addition to his USA Water Polo affiliated club, Hojreh was also selected as an assistant coach for Afghanistan’s national men’s and women’s teams.
The Associated Press reports that Hojreh previously coached at University High School in Irvine and at Kennedy High School in La Palma. A Los Alamitos High School physical education teacher by Hojreh’s name also received ratings on an online website, but the school district hasn’t responded to the Weekly‘s request for confirmation.
In trouble with the law, Hojreh faces four felony counts each of committing a lewd act on a child and sexually penetrating a minor with a foreign object. Hojreh is also charged with a felony lewd act on a child under the age of 14. He’s accused of touching the victims’ breast and genitals, digitally penetrating them and coercing them to touch his genitals during one-on-one coaching sessions. Prosecutors also charged Hojreh with seven misdemeanor counts of child annoyance and six counts of sexual battery.
The district attorney’s office is encouraging anyone with additional information or who may believe that they have been victimized to contact Los Alamitos police detective Delana Lopez at (562) 431-2255, ext. 407.
If convicted, Hojreh faces a maximum sentence of 13 years and four months in state prison with an additional 10 years in county jail. He’s currently out of custody after posting bond. His next court date is scheduled for Jun. 14 at West Justice Center in Westminster.