AD Failed to Report Abuse by Water Polo Coach | Athletic Business

AD Failed to Report Abuse by Water Polo Coach

A high school athletic director in California has admitted that he spent just 15 to 20 minutes investigating allegations of sexual misconduct with female players by a former water polo coach back in 2015.

According to court documents reported on by the Orange County Register, Kennedy High School athletic director Dave Jankowski reportedly cleared water polo coach Eric Pierce after just 10 to 15 minutes of discussion. 

Without speaking with the victim or the whistleblower, Jankowski told Kennedy principal that the allegations were nothing more than a “misunderstanding.”

“I did not attempt to verify that (Owens) was lying to me,” Jankowski said in a May 22 deposition.

Jankowski was one of a group of administrators, coaches and teachers who failed to report allegations of sexual misconduct against Owens in 2014 and 2015. California requires anyone with knowledge of abuse to report the incident to law enforcement and Child Protective Services.

Owens would later be arrested in 2016 after another Kennedy water polo coach did report allegations of Owens engaging in sex acts with a Kennedy water polo player.

In August of 2018, Owens was convicted on one count of oral copulation with a victim younger than 16, and sexual penetration of a victim younger than 16, as well as six misdemeanor counts of child annoyance. He was sentenced to six months in jail for the crimes.

The water polo program at Kennedy has seen its share of abuse allegations. Bahram Hojreh, another Kennedy High water polo coach, was arrested last April and charged with nearly two dozen felony and misdemeanor charges, including lewd acts upon a child, sexual penetration of a minor with a foreign object, child annoyance and sexual battery.

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