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Assistant water polo coach arrested on charges related to child pornography

Daniel Noble, an assistant coach for the UC Davis Men’s Water Polo team, will be arraigned in federal court on May 20

By SOPHIE DEWEES — sports@theaggie.org

On Thursday, May 19, agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested Daniel Noble, an assistant coach for the UC Davis Men’s Water Polo team on charges related to child pornography. Noble was a part of an online chat room where young girls and others shared sexual photos and videos. He allegedly distributed videos and images of minors engaging in sexual activity. 

Following his arrest, Noble was placed on administrative leave and will be arrested should he return to campus.

“These allegations are highly disturbing and antithetical to the values of UC Davis,” Chancellor Gary May said in a statement on the arrest on May 20. “We will cooperate fully with the FBI investigation. As always, the safety of our students and the broader community remain my highest concern.”

On May 20, UC Davis began an investigation led by Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Ellen London to determine the scope of Noble’s involvement in campus programs and if he “engaged in sexual misconduct associated with his coaching activities,” according to the statement released by the university. London will compile a report based on her findings.

“Chancellor May is completely committed to transparency of those reports, and they will be posted on the UC Davis website to the fullest extent that the law provides,” said Chief Campus Counsel Mike Sweeney in the Editorial Board’s quarterly meeting with campus leaders on May 23. “Hopefully no one was harmed, but we’re allowing for the possibility that individuals were and we care very much about that.”

During that same meeting, Director of Athletics Rocko DeLuca stated that UC Davis Athletics will continue to work with the Office of the Campus Counsel and law enforcement.

“I personally met with the water polo team on [May 20] before the news was public, and we’re just trying to provide the support we can,” DeLuca said.

Noble was released from Sacramento County Jail on bail on May 23. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 10, after which he is expected to enter a plea to the allegations against him.

UC Davis encourages those who may wish to report instances of sexual misconduct to contact Harassment and Discrimination Assistance and Prevention Program (HDAPP), according to the statement from the university on May 20.

UC Davis Men’s Water Polo Coach Daniel Leyson did not respond to a request for comment as of May 27. 

Written by: Sophie Dewees — sports@theaggie.org

Editor’s note: This article was updated on May 27.

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