Police Look at Alleged Assault at Encinal High
The Alameda Police Department (APD) is investigating an alleged sexual assault that took place during a men’s water polo match between Encinal and Berkeley high schools on Oct. 11 at the Encinal Swim Center on the school’s campus.
According to reports, a Berkeley student is accused of sexually assaulting a player on the Encinal team in the pool during the match. Alameda Unified School District spokeswoman Susan Davis said there were accusations from multiple Encinal students that a player from Berkeley was behaving inappropriately in the water.
The students brought their concerns to the athletic director and principal at Encinal. A member of Encinal’s staff contacted the school resource officer, according to Alameda police Lt. Hoshmand Durani. APD has declined to provide further details about the allegation, but did say they are questioning players and coaches from both teams about the incident.
“We take good sportsmanship and behavior seriously but cannot comment on any specific case of student discipline,” said Berkeley Unified School District spokesman Charles Buress.
No arrests have been made as of Nov. 8 and no names are being released because all the students involved are minors.
Police say that it is unknown if this act was intentional or accidental. Water polo is a physical sport where it is common for opposing players to grab onto one another.
In California, sexual assault is defined as the unwanted touching of another person’s intimate parts, which are defined as “sexual organ, anus, groin or buttocks ... and the breasts of a female.”
Arrests due to physical play during water polo matches are not uncommon. Last year, a 15-year-old boy from Acalanes High of Lafayette broke the nose of a Bellarmine of San Jose student during a water polo game and was charged with felony assault and battery.