A female UC-Irvine water polo player has been charged with improperly touching her opponents’ intimate areas during a game.
According to the Orange County Register, two unidentified Loyola Marymount athletes accused Nina Flynn, a redshirt sophomore at Irvine, of groping them during a competition on February 16.
On February 23, UC-Irvine suspended Flynn; even though it was later removed on March 10, the university’s Title IX section is still looking into the matter.
In a letter to the Register, Flynn’s lawyer Alison P. Saros refuted the accusations.
“Nina maintains she is not responsible in any way for the allegations and that after with [the] Title IX [office] and film analysis and other evidence presented the suspension was lifted and she was allowed to return to the pool while the investigation continues,” the attorney told the outlet.
In Irvine’s 11-8 win over Loyola Marymount, Flynn tallied four goals.
A water polo player’s father, David Tedesco, started a GoFundMe to help with Flynn’s legal defence.
“A violation under the applicable Title IX Regulations only requires the intentional touching of a Complainant’s intimate body part(s) without consent, whether clothed or unclothed. An intimate body part is defined as the genitals, anus, groin, breast, or buttocks,” the GoFundMe says.
“There are no exceptions. With a definition so broad, every water polo game, male or female, is full of such Title IX violations.
“Based upon these accusations, UCI could expel Nina from UCI and refer the matter for criminal prosecution, or exclude her from the UCI women’s water polo team, among other sanctions. In addition to the 2023 season, Nina has two more seasons of NCAA eligibility left.”
The GoFundMe has raised over $27,000 as of Thursday morning.
“Nina and the rest of the UCI women’s water polo team vehemently deny these accusations and are determined to not only fight for Nina’s innocence, but also for the integrity of water polo,” the fundraiser continues.
“If a Title IX investigation becomes the forum for alleged game time transgressions, chaos to all water polo programs will result.
“The legal defense of a Title IX claim is a highly specialized field of law, and the Flynn family has hired legal counsel to defend against these false accusations.”