High school water polo coach in Irvine accused of sex with student

A high school water polo coach in Irvine has been arrested on suspicion of unlawful sex with a minor, a female student at University High School, police said Tuesday.

Coleman Pickell, 23, was arrested Tuesday afternoon after police learned of the allegations, the Irvine Police Department said in a statement.

Irvine school district officials said that Pickell had coached the boy’s junior varsity team and is no longer with the district.

“The Irvine Unified School District’s number one priority is the safety and well being of our students,” the district said in a statement. “We have zero tolerance for any behavior that does not support our values, our commitment to integrity, and our service to students.”

The district said that “effective immediately, Mr. Pickell will no longer coach or have contact with students at University High School, or through any Irvine Unified school. IUSD takes these allegations very seriously and will continue to work closely with the Irvine Police Department as it moves forward with the investigation.”

Records show Pickell was booked at the Orange County Jail pending formal charges.

Anyone with information related to the case is asked to call Irvine police Det. Gavin Hudson at (949) 724-7168.

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