Police close investigation into Berkeley High School athlete’s alleged sexual battery

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On Tuesday, the Alameda Police Department closed investigations into a Berkeley High School water polo team member’s alleged sexual battery on an opponent during a game, after the accuser and his parents decided to drop the case.

Following a men’s water polo game between Berkeley High School and Alameda’s Encinal Junior and Senior High School on Oct. 11, the principal of Encinal High heard students alleging that a Berkeley High opponent either touched or grabbed the genital area of an Encinal water polo player during the game, according to Susan Davis, senior manager of community affairs in the Alameda Unified School District.

On Oct. 12, the principal contacted the police on the concern of potential criminal activity, Davis said. So far, however, the police department has been unable to determine whether the contact was intentional or incidental contact in the course of the sport.

“We support our students and would take statements,” Davis said, “It will be up to the Berkeley Unified School District to decide if they will discipline the student.”

The athletic directors of Berkeley High and and Encinal High have been interacting to resolve the incident, Davis said.

Regarding details on Berkeley school district’s actions in response to the case, spokesperson Charles Burress declined to release information because of the involvement of minors, adding that they cannot comment on any individual cases of student discipline.

Additionally, Burress said there have been false reports circulating in the media which quote Berkeley High water polo coach Raymond Haywood as denying knowledge of the incident and investigation. According to Burress, Haywood had said he was aware of the alleged incident, but not of an investigation by Alameda police.

According to an official statement released by Alameda police Tuesday, the alleged victim and his parents do not wish to pursue this incident. The investigation has been closed unless further information surfaces.

Contact Charlene Jin at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @CharleneJin0327.

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