A pretrial hearing is scheduled next month for a former Long Beach lifeguard who pleaded not guilty last Friday to charges of sexually assaulting three females students between 14 and 16 years old.
La Palma resident Joshua Christopher Owens, 23, was charged with one felony count of oral copulation of a minor under 16, one felony count of digital penetration of a minor, and six misdemeanor counts of child annoyance.
Owens was a part-time water polo swim coach at Kennedy High School (KHS) in La Palma and a seasonal lifeguard in Long Beach at the time of the crime, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Authorities said Owens was in a position of trust with access to minors from 2014 to 2016 through his position as a coach at KHS, where he met all three victims. He is accused of assaulting the victims at various locations in the counties of Los Angeles and Orange.
The defendant allegedly sexually assaulted one girl between September 2014 and April 2015 by “orally copulating and digitally penetrating the victim” and touching her breast, according to the OCDA.
Owens allegedly molested another girl by fondling her and touching himself in front of her between January and June of last year, authorities said.
Between March and June of last year, Owens is accused of kissing the victim with sexual intent on multiple occasions.
The Buena Park Police Department (BPPD) arrested Owens on November 21, 2016 after an investigation into the case that began earlier that month, authorities said.
Owens faces a maximum sentence of three years and eight months in state prison, plus six years in county jail, if convicted.
The defendant was ordered to return to court February 15 for a pretrial hearing in Department N12, North Justice Center in Fullerton.
City News Service contributed to this report.
Photo courtesy of Buena Park Police Department.