Water polo coach accused of sexually assaulting La Palma high school student-athletes

ByABC7.com staff via KABC logo
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Joshua Christopher Owens, 23, of La Palma, is seen in a booking photo.
Joshua Christopher Owens, 23, of La Palma, is seen in a booking photo.
Buena Park Police Department

BUENA PARK, Calif. (KABC) -- A 23-year-old lifeguard and high school water polo coach has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting female students ages 14 to 16, the Buena Park Police Department announced Tuesday.

Joshua Christopher Owens allegedly performed the "lewd and lascivious acts" between 2014 and 2016, when he was also a swim coach at John F. Kennedy High School in La Palma, police said in a statement. The La Palma resident was arrested Monday on suspicion of multiple felony and misdemeanor offenses.

"During the past year, Owens was employed as a seasonal lifeguard with the Long Beach Fire Department Marine Safety Division," the news release said.

The allegations of lewd activity with a student were reported Nov. 16 to Kennedy High School staff, who notified authorities, the statement said. At least one other possible victim was identified during a subsequent investigation.

Owens is suspected of meeting the victims, who were student-athletes, through his coaching position at the school.

Anyone with information about the case, or who believes they may have been a victim, is asked to call Detective Todd Franssen of the Buena Park Police Department at (714) 562-3963.